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Agricultural changes, new technologies to highlight NMSU's Clovis Field Day

CLOVIS, N.M. - The agricultural landscape is constantly shifting and farmers are continually adapting to changes in order to simply survive. As input costs rise and resources decline, new methodology and products must be accepted and utilized for growers to remain profitable. New crop technologies and management methods will be topics of interest at New Mexico State University's annual field day at the Agricultural Science Center at Clovis Aug. 12.

Naveen Puppala, a peanut breeder at the Agricultural Science Center at Clovis, talks to a group of attendees at a recent field day. This year's field day will be on Aug. 12.(NMSU photo by Audry Olmsted)

The field day is free and open to the public.

"This annual event is designed to help producers become more productive and efficient through education, and to also inform community citizens not familiar with regional agricultural practices of some of the current issues we are facing in today's challenging agricultural climate," said Mark Marsalis, Extension agronomist at the Clovis science center.

"To remain in business, farmers are confronted with the challenge of maintaining high levels of productivity, while limiting input costs and protecting natural resources to sustain agricultural production for years to come. Once we find a way of doing things that work, we tend to stick with the same routine," said Rex Kirksey, center superintendent. "The purpose of the Clovis field day is to present some new technologies and innovative ideas to agricultural producers for possible integration into their own operations. The faculty at the Clovis center and the invited speakers will be sharing a wealth of information on agricultural production options."

At the field day, Marsalis will show the advantages of new grass herbicide tolerant sorghums that are in development.

"The benefit is that growers will eventually be able to go over the top of grain sorghum with particular herbicides to control grassy weeds, and some broadleaf weeds. This advancement is revolutionizing the sorghum industry and addresses the most common problem in sorghum production - grass control," Marsalis said.

Robert Flynn, Extension agronomist at the Agricultural Science Center at Artesia, will address the topic of manure and lagoon water applications to croplands and will give an overview of some of the benefits and potential hazards associated with land application of waste.

"The large presence of the dairy industry in the region demands more water-use efficient silage cropping systems to feed large quantities of cows with declining resources," Marsalis said. Sangu Angadi, crop stress physiologist, will discuss sorghum and legume intercropping systems aimed at providing high-quality feed while utilizing fewer resources.

Francisco Contreras-Govea, an agronomist at the Artesia center, will provide supporting information to the intercropping studies conducted at the Clovis center. His work has focused on ensiling of differing proportions of legumes with corn and sorghum and finding an optimum balance that will maximize feed quality for dairy cows.

Bill Taylor, a rangeland management specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, has looked into potential land-use options for lands with the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) that are expiring, and will discuss some of the grazing options that are available and may be of benefit to producers. As many acres are coming out of CRP, landowners will be looking for new uses of the land that will be both sustainable and profitable.

Sultan Begna, a research specialist in Clovis, will explain the current research taking place at the science center that is focused on strip-till technology and management as it relates to improving resource-use efficiency and profitability in dryland cropping systems.

Robert Hagevoort, Extension dairy specialist, will give a dairy update and will discuss the latest developments in the dairy industry and how recent economic shifts have and will affect cropping and feed purchasing decisions.
David Thompson, the new associate dean and director of NMSU's Agricultural Experiment Station, will provide opening remarks prior to the field tour.

Barbara Couture, NMSU president, will be the featured keynote speaker.

Registration for the field day starts at 8 a.m. with introductions starting at 9 a.m. The field tours begin at 9:15 a.m. The tour will wrap up at 11:45 a.m.

Couture will speak during the lunch program, which is sponsored by the agricultural industry and area businesses.

A map to the science center can be accessed at http://clovissc.nmsu.edu.

For more information, or if you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate, contact Marsalis in advance at 575-985-2292 or marsalis@nmsu.edu.