Today was a big day out in the field at Fort Ellis: virus inoculation day for the project I’ve been part of, on how farming system can alter reactions to adverse growing conditions (like climate change, weed competition, and disease). This is the second year of the project, and the fifth year of the larger crop rotation study, so a lot is riding on being able to keep to the schedule.
Spring has been cool and wet here in Montana, which has presented us from being able to do work in the muddy fields but hasn’t slowed down the wheat or the weeds. If the wheat is too developed when the virus is sprayed, the infection won’t manifest well enough to measure. Thanks to carefully prepared protocols, seasoned personnel, and a stretch of sunny, dry days, we treated our plots and went home early!