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NMSU Tucumcari Science Center field day set for Aug. 6

TUCUMCARI - The new Eastern New Mexico Outdoor Arboretum, a new pivot irrigation system and holding pond and a talk by guest speaker Lowell B. Catlett, dean of the College of Agriculture and Home Economics at New Mexico State University, will be highlights of an Aug. 6 field day at NMSU's Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari.

Rex Kirksey, superintendent of NMSU's Agricultural Science Centers at Clovis and Tucumcari, inspects a nozzle on the Tucumcari center's new pivot irrigation system. The Tucumcari center, established in 1912, has a rich agricultural history and is NMSU's oldest off-campus research facility. (NMSU Agricultural Communications photo by Darrell J. Pehr)

"The primary goal of the field day is to increase the community's awareness of the center and its activities, and to highlight the broad range of projects with which we are involved," said Rex E. Kirksey, superintendent of the Agricultural Science Centers at Tucumcari and Clovis. "The Tucumcari center has an annual field day, as requested by our local advisory committee."

The arboretum, developed this year, includes more than 65 trees and shrubs. The new pivot irrigation system and holding pond, also established over the past year, are playing an important role in the research being conducted at the center. They were funded by the New Mexico Legislature.

The free program begins with registration at 2:30 p.m. at NMSU's 464-acre Tucumcari science center, located 3 miles northeast of Tucumcari on U.S. 54.

A tree and turfgrass seminar and tour starts at 3 p.m. with an introduction to the Eastern New Mexico Outdoor Arboretum by Leonard Lauriault, forage agronomist at the science center, followed by a presentation on turfgrass irrigation and species selection by Bernd Leinauer, Extension turfgrass specialist for NMSU's Extension Plant Sciences in Las Cruces.

Registration continues at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 5:30 p.m. Kirksey will provide the welcome and introductions, followed by guest speaker Catlett's comments.

A hay wagon tour starts at 6:30 p.m. Kirksey will give details about development of the pivot irrigation system and holding pond. Phil King, associate professor and associate department head for the Department of Civil Engineering at NMSU, will discuss on-farm irrigation efficiency. Lauriault will present "Teff Grass for Hay Production," followed by "Ultra-Short Season Crops" by Sangu Angadi, crop physiologist for NMSU's Agricultural Science Center at Clovis.

Refreshments will follow at 8:30.

The Tucumcari center, established in 1912, has a rich agricultural history and is NMSU's oldest off-campus research facility. The center was originally one of 30 dryland field stations run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the West. Past research has included irrigated pasture studies, evaluation of trees and shrubs for windbreaks, and dryland and irrigated crop variety trials.

For more information about the field day, or if you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate, contact Kirksey in advance at (505) 461-1620 or e-mail rkirksey@nmsu.edu.