Western Triangle Agricultural Research Center
This research center is located at the Western Triangle Agricultural Research Center (WTARC), 10 miles north of Conrad (pop. 2800) and 70 miles north of Great Falls, in the agricultural production area known as the “Golden Triangle”. The center is comprised of 75-acres of rain-fed and irrigated crop land. Off-station research investigations are a priority for WTARC researchers and are conducted within seven surrounding counties. Rain-fed crops include winter and spring wheat, durum, malt barley, cool-season oilseeds, and cool-season pulses. Malt barley, wheat and perennial forages are the primary crops produced on the 200,000+ irrigated acres in this region. Current research projects at WTARC involve soil nutrient management, reduced tillage cereal production systems, cereal grain, oilseed and pulse crop variety evaluations, and integrated wireworm, wheat midge, alfalfa weevil, peal leaf weevil and wheat-stem sawfly control methods. The WTARC has research laboratories, facilities for processing research plot samples and a full set of modern field plot research equipment for harvesting and planting traditional and reduced tillage research. The research center has further modern equipment (Leica digital microscope, olfactometer, chroma meter, seed drills and combines, PCR, fume hood, incubators, etc.) and facilities (insect rearing, insect bioassay, behavioral studies lab) to carry out research on the management of insect pests in Montana. The WTARC is staffed by two faculty and there are currently 17 support personnel positions including postdoctoral research associates and graduate students. An advisory board made up of area producers and industry representatives, provides guidance on establishing WTARC research priorities.