VERNON — Farmers can update their crop production and management skills, learn more about new technologies and crop diversification options, and glimpse new small grain varieties in the field at a May 13 Agriculture Day at the Texas A&M University research farm in Chillicothe.
“This half-day event will offer farmers a wealth of knowledge and ideas,” said Dr. Don Robinson, resident director of Texas A&M’s Agricultural Research and Extension Center here. Registration starts at 8 a.m., and the program will begin at 8:30 a.m. with concurrent morning sessions on crops and land use alternatives. There is no charge to attend.
“Our keynote lunch speaker is Robert Lemon, Texas Agricultural Extension Service agronomist. He will talk about why producers can’t continue farming like their grandfathers did, and how farmers can keep their operations viable in the future.”
Other speakers and their topics are:
— J.C. Banks, Oklahoma State University Extension cotton specialist, “Transgenic Cottons for Weed and Insect Control,” and “Ultra-Narrow Row Cotton.”
— Dale Rollins, Extension wildlife specialist-San Angelo, “Integrating Wildlife Leases Into Farm-Ranch Enterprises.”
— Jody Bellah, R.A. Brown Ranch-Throckmorton, “Triticale: A New Forage-Silage Alternative for the Rolling Plains.”
— Brent Bean, Extension agronomist-Amarillo, “Constraints to Corn Production in the Rolling Plains.”
— John Sij, Research and Extension agronomist-Vernon, “Alternatives for Crop Diversification in the Rolling Plains.”
— Charles Leamons, Texas Department of Agriculture seed quality and certification director, “Plant Variety Protection: What it Means to Rolling Plain Producers.”
“Producers can take a crops field tour at the research farm, as well as attend presentations by our speakers,” Robinson said. “We’ll also have several equipment and product displays from area agri-businesses.”
During the field tour, producers can learn about new small grain varieties for the Rolling Plains from Steve Caldwell, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station research associate in small grains breeding. He will showcase the first triticale variety, and two new wheat varieties, that will be released by Texas A&M this year.
Other field tour presentations will focus on “Weed Control in Wheat,” by Todd Baughman, Extension agronomist-Vernon; and “Relay Strip Cropping to Move Beneficial Predator Insects into Cotton,” by Jeff Slosser, Texas A&M research entomologist-Vernon.
“Producers also can earn four Continuing Education Units (CEUs) by attending the field day. These CEUs are approved for both Texas and Oklahoma producers,” Robinson noted. The 250-acre Chillicothe research farm is located 5 miles southwest of Chillicothe on farm-to-market road 392.
For more information on the May 13 Agriculture Day in Chillicothe, call the Texas A&M Research and Extension Center here at (940) 552-9941.