Annual Cultivated Wild Rice Symposium, December, 2024.

A woman presenting a powerpoint to a crowd of people.

We had another great year at the annual cultivated wild rice symposium this month, just before the holidays. This year the symposium was held in Bemidji and we got a nice view of the lake from our hotel rooms! We presented our research updates and got to socialize and chat science and wild rice with our growers and industry reps. It was a fun and productive time.

Wild Rice Field Day, August, 2023.

People standing near a field lined with trees looking at a speaker who is holding up a picture to look at.

Cultivated wild rice growers came to visit the research station for our annual field day this month. Events included research updates, a paddy tour, a drone demonstration and of course, lunch. It is great to connect with growers and hear about how their seasons are going and get input from them about our research. 

Visitor's Day. July, 2023.

Jenny leaning over a table with a tube in hand showing a group of kids how to do a DNA extraction.

Visitor's day at the NCROC is a chance for the surrounding community to see what is happening at the research station. Guests were able to go between the research plots of all of the program's that are housed at the NCROC and learn about their research. We set up a fun activity for kids where they got to do a quick and dirty DNA extraction using strawberries!

MDA Grant Research Ongoing. June, 2023.

A man standing in front of a large drone with fields and a shed in the background.

This year's field season is up and running including new work for our MDA grant entitled "Advancing New Technologies for the Management of Fungal Diseases in Cultivated Wild Rice". As part of this work, field research protocols are being updated using drone technology (our new drone is pictured here). This work will help with the efficient future management of multiple fungal diseases in cultivated wild rice paddies. 

Planting Has Begun. May, 2023.

Jenny driving a tractor attached to a planter where Alan sits looking down at the paddy.

The trees are leafing out, the flowers are blooming, and the tractor has hit the paddies. Field season is in full swing. The first on farm trial has been fully planted for the year and the NCROC paddies are being prepped for the coming weeks. We are looking forward to a productive season this year. Let's keep our fingers crossed for no more droughts. 

Craig Does a Root Study. April, 2023.

Craig holds up and looks at wild rice roots from a single plant.

Craig decided to take on a study of wild rice roots this year due to his own interest in the topic. Because we have never done a root study he spent a lot of time and effort determining the best way to grow and measure the roots. Craig built his own device to hold the roots still while washing to prevent root loss as well as a water shaker to make the process more efficient. We also learned that the growing method he chose may work better than our standard protocol for certain uses. Thank you Craig for your hard work on this project!

Maybell attends CIMMYT. February, 2023.

Maybell in front of a statue commemorating the improvement of corn and wheat.

Maybell participated in the CIMMYT-UMN study abroad program and visited the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Texcoco, Mexico. CIMMYT is a non-profit international organization that conducts global agricultural research to develop climate-resilient crops. During the one-week short course, Maybell and other graduate students from the Applied Plant Sciences Program learned about molecular plant breeding, quantitative genetics, germplasm collections and storage, conservation agriculture, end-use quality control, and disease resistance. She is excited to apply what she learned from this trip to her studies and research in our program.

Maybell’s trip to CIMMYT was funded by Kimball’s lab and UMN Plant Breeding Center.

Happy New Year! January, 2023.

The top of the picture is a basset hound mix and the bottom half is program members posing together.

Happy new year to all! We started the new year off with a new dog. Bilbo, a senior basset hound and beagle mix has joined the Kimball/Mulkey home. He is a sweet angel that gets along with everyone. Welcome to Bilbo and we hope everyone has a productive and happy year!