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NMSU's Peanut Field Day to give participants a look at latest research

BROWNFIELD, Texas - New Mexico State University is teaming with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cropping System Research Laboratory and National Peanut Research Laboratory, along with Texas Tech and Texas A&M universities, at the annual Peanut Field Day Sept. 1 to help local producers maintain an estimated $1.8 billion industry.

Participants gather at a recent Peanut Field Day. The annual event is on Sept. 1, and will be held at the Delwin Marrow Farm in Brownfield, Texas.(NMSU photo)

Farmers in Eastern New Mexico and West Texas planted 17,000 acres of Valencia peanuts in 2009, which produce about 45 million pounds of peanuts. Puppala said 95 percent of Valencia peanuts are contracted by Eastern New Mexico and West Texas processors.

This is the first year that the annual event will be held at a grower's farm, in Brownfield, Texas. The Delwin Marrow Farm, where the field tour will take place, has wide market types of peanuts, including Runner, Virginia, Valencia and Spanish peanuts.

"At the field day, participants can look at new breeding materials in the pipeline and see what projects researchers are working on," said Naveen Puppala, a peanut breeder at NMSU's Agricultural Science Center at Clovis.

A wide variety of topics will be discussed at the field day including: breeding, nutrition, drought experiments, planting pattern studies, remote sensing, weed control and disease management studies.

Several presentations are scheduled throughout the field day.

Jamie Ayers, a research assistant with AgriLife Research, will give an evaluation on early maturity in runner varieties. Scott Russell, an Extension Integrated Pest Management agent with Texas AgriLife Extension Service for Terry and Yoakum counties, will give an update on diseases and insects in peanuts.

Wilson Faircloth, an agronomist with the National Peanut Research Laboratory (NPRL) and the USDA-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), will talk on conservation tillage for increased water use efficiency. Peter Dotray, a professor and weed specialist with AgriLife Research, will discuss weed management strategies in peanuts.

Charles Chen, a breeder with NPRL and USDA-ARS, will talk on developing peanut cultivars with early maturity and drought tolerance in Texas. Calvin Trostle, an Extension agronomist with AgriLife Research, will talk about fertility management in peanuts.

Puppala will talk about evaluating Valencia peanut mini core collection under two irrigation treatments. Russell Nuti, an agronomist with NPRL and USDA-ARS, will evaluate various peanut-planting patterns in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico.

Steve Maas, a professor of Agricultural Microclimatology at Texas Tech University, will discuss the use of remote sensing in crop management. Paxton Payton, a physiologist with USDA-ARS and the Cropping System Research Laboratory (CSRL), will help participants identify stress-tolerant peanut germplasm.

James Mahan, a physiologist with USDA-ARS and CSRL, will talk on the Biologically Identified Optimal Temperature Interactive Console program, a program that looks at irrigation scheduling for various crops, such as peanuts.

Registration for the field day starts at 5 p.m. A free dinner sponsored by a local establishment will also be provided at that time. The field tours run from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Delwin Marrow Farm is nine miles south of the John Deer House in Brownfield, Texas, on FM 403 South. Signs will be posted to help direct participants to the field day.

If you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service, contact Puppala at (575) 985-2292, Payton at (806) 723-5218, or Trostle at (806) 777-0247.