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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Gardening, Conservation and Agriculture Showcased Aug. 19 in Los Lunas

LAS CRUCES Ð Home gardeners and agricultural producers will see the latest research on xeriscaping, plant diseases, livestock management, wildlife control and bosque reclamation Aug. 19 in Los Lunas.

New Mexico State University's Agricultural Science Center at Los Lunas is hosting a field day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Scientists from NMSU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service's Plant Materials Center will discuss a variety of topics, including livestock vaccination, pine tree insects, genetically engineered corn and agricultural composting."One interesting demonstration will be the chicken tractor," said Cal Baca, Cibola County program director with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service. "We call it a tractor because it performs some of the same tasks as a garden tractor."

The "tractor" is actually a movable pen that houses small poultry or livestock. Gardeners can locate this pen anywhere in their garden and let the animals do the work. "Chickens, ducks and other small poultry can help level the ground, remove insects and provide fertilizer," Baca said. "They also help aerate the soil."

Gardeners and home owners also can bring plants, insects or plant disease problems to the field day for identification and recommendations by NMSU experts.

Recent research on windbreaks, pasture grasses and alfalfa varieties will be presented to agricultural producers. Demonstrations on beef stir-fry and sun-dried tomatoes will round out the day's events.

The field day is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the center at (505) 865-4684, or your local county Extension agent.