Montana State University

MSU specialists to speak at regional barley and sugarbeet symposium

December 8, 2014 -- MSU News Service

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Specialists from Montana State University, University of Wyoming and North Dakota State University, as well as experts from industry, will speak about current agricultural challenges facing Montana and Wyoming crop producers at a regional barley and sugarbeet symposium to be held in January.

The 2015 Montana and Wyoming Barley and Sugarbeet Symposium is set for Jan. 6-7 at Big Horn Resort in Billings. The event will feature faculty and industry presentations from the three universities as well as private agribusinesses such as Syngenta, Whiteside and Associates Transportation, Biotechnology Industry Organization and the American Sugarbeet Growers Association.

A program focused on crop production and protection for malt barley and other crops rotated with sugarbeets will be featured Tuesday, Jan. 6. Myles Watts, MSU professor of agricultural economics, will deliver an agricultural economic outlook for regional producers. Robert Stougaard, superintendent of MSU’s Northwestern Agricultural Research Center, will address challenges and management of the orange blossom wheat midge, a devastating pest to many agricultural producers in the Northern Rockies region. University of Wyoming faculty and industry scientists will make additional presentations on barley diseases, grain and seed storage molds breeding practices in barely and corn, cover crop herbicide, remote sensing and crop monitoring. The day will also feature an agribusiness trade show, social hour and weather outlook. 

A program on current sugarbeet production will be held Wednesday, Jan. 7. Featured speakers will include representatives from the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, Snake River Sugar and American Crystal Sugar, with a keynote presentation by Biotechnology Industry Organization. Barry Jacobsen, interim department head of MSU agricultural research centers, will discuss disease management in sugarbeets. Additional topics to be covered include crop physiology, insect and weed management, yield and quality, crop biotechnology and other challenges affecting sugarbeet growers and the sugar industry.

Both private and commercial pesticide applicator credits will be available to attendees.

Cost for the symposium is $20 per day for pre-registration. Day-of registration is available for $25 per day. For a full event program or to register, visit the MSU Extension Integrated Pest Management Center at

Contact: Barry J. Jacobsen, (406) 994-5161 or