University offers crop research tours: hemp, teff, squash, soybeans, camelina

University offers crop research tours: hemp, teff, squash, soybeans, camelina
Hemp grows at Western States Hemp in Fallon, as part of University of Nevada, Reno research on four varieties that may do well in Nevada. Photo by David Harrison.

Submitted by University of Nevada, Reno

RENO – Agriculture producers and others are invited to tour field plots in northern Nevada where the University of Nevada, Reno and its partners are researching drought-tolerant and high-demand crops. The four field plots are in Reno, Fallon and Minden, and the free tours are Aug. 16, 19, 23 and 26. 

“With a limited water supply, we are always looking for drought-tolerant crops for long-term sustainability,” said Maninder K. Walia, assistant professor and field crop specialist with University of Nevada, Reno Extension, who is conducting the tours and research as part of the Alternative Crops Program. “We are also looking at crops in high demand that our producers are interested in growing.” 

The events will include walking tours and discussions of the crops being researched at three farms and at the university’s Valley Road Field Lab, where various research is done as part of the UNR Experiment Station.

CBD Hemp and Regenerative Fiber Hemp Variety Trial Tour in Fallon, Aug.16, 9 – 11 a.m., at Frey’s Farm, 3975 Reno Highway and 8217 Pioneer Way.

In collaboration with Extension’s hemp team in Clark County led by ML Robinson, assistant professor and horticulture specialist, Walia partnered with Joe Frey at Western States Hemp to research four hemp varieties in the second year of this trial. Walia says there has been a lot of interest from producers statewide in growing hemp, and research is needed on which varieties might do well in northern Nevada.

Register for the hemp field tour at

Teff Variety Trial Tour in Minden, Aug.19, 9:30 – 11 a.m., at Park Ranch, 1300 Buckeye Road; and
Teff, Soybean and Camelina Variety Trial Tour in Reno, Aug. 26, 9 – 10:30 a.m., at the University of Nevada, Reno Experiment Station, Valley Road Field Lab, 910 Valley Road.

Walia and John Cushman, an Experiment Station researcher and professor with the University’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources, are evaluating teff varieties for production potential in various environments, including at David Park’s Park Ranch in Minden and at the Experiment Station in Reno. Their research is adding to previous research and work the University has done in the state on producing teff, and is looking at grain varieties, often used as a gluten-free alternative grain for those with gluten intolerance, as well as forage varieties, harvested as grass for livestock feed.

In addition, at the Experiment Station Walia will show and tell about the research she is conducting on soybeans and camelina. She’ll discuss traits such as early maturity, nutrient content, biomass production and drought tolerance.

Register for the Aug. 19 teff field tour in Minden at
Register for the Aug. 26 teff, soybean and camelina field tour in Reno at

Winter Squash Performance Trial Tour in Fallon, Aug. 23, 9 – 10:30 a.m., at Lattin Farms, 1955 McLean Road. 

Walia is in the second year of this trial on winter squash varieties being conducted at Rick Lattin’s Lattin Farms in Fallon. She says that butternut squash in particular is in high demand at area restaurants and casinos, which are increasingly using it in soups and other recipes. Walia will discuss her findings on four winter squash varieties, in terms of their quality, taste, consumer demand, ability to grow in Nevada’s climate and overall yield. 

Register for the winter squash field tour at

Close-toed shoes, long pants, hats and sunscreen are recommended during each event. The event is limited to the first 75 people who register. For more information, call 775-423-5121, ext. 221, or email Persons in need of special assistance should notify the organizers three days prior to the event.

Source: UNR Extension