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NMSU Tucumcari Science Center Field Day Scheduled for Aug. 4

TUCUMCARI - Eastern New Mexico's agricultural diversity will take the spotlight at an evening field day Aug. 4 at New Mexico State University's Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari. The program will focus on turf research, animal identification, forage production and weed management.

Brad Griggs, a worker at New Mexico State University's Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari, checks the condition of a 5-by-5 foot experimental turf plot. Turfgrass research, animal identification, forage production and weed management will highlight an evening field day Aug. 4 at the science center. (07/13/2005) Courtesy Photo from Leonard Lauriault

"This is our first field day in two years, and we're excited about the opportunity to show the scope of our research programs," said Rex Kirksey, superintendent of NMSU's Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari. "Visitors will see that we approach research through a variety of avenues to help producers and homeowners answer problems that are unique to this area."

The free program begins with registration at 5 p.m. at NMSU's 464-acre Tucumcari science center, located 3 miles northeast of Tucumcari on Highway 54. A walking tour of the center's turfgrass trials will be followed by dinner at 5:40 p.m. A field tour starts at 7 p.m.

The field day program will open with remarks by Paul Gutierrez, associate dean of NMSU's College of Agriculture and Home Economics, followed by the field tour.

Manny Encinias, a livestock specialist at NMSU's Clayton Livestock Research Center, will demonstrate electronic ear tag readers used for animal identification. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that the target for a national, mandatory animal identification program is January 2009. At that time all animals entering marketing channels must be identified.

Bernhard Leinauer, an NMSU turfgrass specialist, will lead the walking tour of experimental turf plots at the center. Leinauer is conducting statewide research trials of 32 different grasses in side-by-side tests for hardiness, cold tolerance and water use. The 5-by-5 foot plots look like a giant checkerboard when viewed from above.

NMSU forage agronomist Leonard Lauriault will discuss renovation of alfalfa stands at the center. Mark Marsalis, a Clovis-based agronomist with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service will talk about summer annual grass forages.

Pete Walden, Quay County agent with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service, will provide an overview of noxious and invasive weed management, and Christie Werner, an NMSU senior research assistant in Clovis, will discuss variety trials.

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.