HEREFORD–Water, a vital element for any crop but especially critical for vegetable production, will be the focus here Jan. 21 at the 27th annual High Plains Vegetable Conference.
“Water is our highest priority for the future of the High Plains vegetable industry,”said Dr. Roland Roberts, vegetable specialist with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service and conference coordinator. Speakers will be professionals representing all aspects of water resources and management in crop production, he said.
The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Hereford Community Center, 100 Avenue C at Park Avenue. It is sponsored by the Extension Service, High Plains Vegetable Growers and Shippers Council, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas Tech University, Deaf Smith County Extension Vegetable Development Committee, Deaf Smith County Chamber of Commerce and Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA).
The program has been approved by TDA for five continuing education units to maintain certification of applicators of restricted- use pesticides. The $25 registration fee includes lunch.
This year’s conference will examine the status of water sources, water requirements, irrigation scheduling, water purity, conservation, low energy precision application (LEPA) and drip irrigation systems, large-scale mulching, use of heat units and the potential evapotranspiration (PET) network, and development of whole-farm water conservation plans that meet state and federal requirements.
Keynote speakers will be Wayne Wyatt, manager of the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District Number One, and Dr. Edward Martin, Extension Service engineer with the University of Arizona, Tucson. Wyatt will address the outlook for the area’s water supply. Martin will report on his research on vegetable irrigation requirements and timing irrigation with heat units.
Others on the program will be Leon New, Extension Service irrigation specialist; Mark Griffith, Extension assistant for water quality; Dr. Frank Dainello, Extension Service horticulturist; Dr. Greta Schuster, Extension agent for integrated pest management; Dr. David Bender, experiment station associate professor of horticulture; Levon Harmon, TDA pesticide specialist, and Roberts.
Some 25 exhibits and educational displays will be presented by agribusiness professionals serving the vegetable industry.