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New Mexico State University

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NMSU is sponsoring annual Ag Expo Feb. 21-22, in Portales

PORTALES, N.M. - The 20th Annual Ag Expo is near and promises to offer farmers and ranchers a quality educational experience to help them maintain and increase their productivity.


The expo will be held Feb. 21-22 at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds in Portales. The event is free and open to the public. New Mexico State University is sponsoring the event, along with local businesses and Dairy Farmer's of America.

"Overall, the annual Ag Expo is a way for producers to gather and participate in a good, high-quality show," said Patrick Kircher, agricultural agent for NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service in Roosevelt County. "Our goal is to try and allow agricultural producers access to the newest and latest information and technology and take advantage of the experts available to them."

On Feb. 21, Mark Marsalis, NMSU Extension agronomist, will start out the expo by giving an outlook of silage for 2012 as well as information on how to plan for dry times. He will cover silage crop management in limited water settings. Marsalis will also cover first-year data on a dryland corn study, looking at the effects of the timing of rainfall on plant development and productivity.

Also on Feb. 21, Jane Breen Pierce, an entomologist with NMSU, will discuss strategies for insect pest management in hay. Pierce will give an overview of some of the major insect pests in hay including alfalfa weevil, beet armyworm, cutworms, white-fringed beetle and alfalfa caterpillar. Control measures will emphasize an integrated pest management approach with recommendations about biological and cultural control measures for insect pests of hay, which can be used to decrease the number of conventional insecticide applications.

John Idowu, Extention agronomist for NMSU, has embarked on a research study to look at the fertility, compaction and organic matter of Conservation Reserve Program acreages in Roosevelt County. On Feb. 21, he will give a talk on what CRP fertility looks like after 25 years.

Also on Feb. 21, Scott Daily, of Daily Horse Training, in Arkansas City, Kansas, will offer starting and training techniques for colts. Monti Vandiver, an integrated pest management specialist with Texas Agri-Life, will provide training on utilizing IPM strategies in cotton production in the High Plains. This course has been approved by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture for one continuing education unit to be applied toward a private applicator's license.

The drought is the most pressing management issue faced by producers of the High Plains in a long time. On Feb. 22, Ted McCollum, Texas Agri-Life beef cattle specialist, will evaluate all beef cow production scenarios for 2012 to determine the best course of action for producers.

On Feb. 22, Nick Ashcroft an Extension range specialist for NMSU, will explain to attendees what the range insurance program is and what it is designed to do for producers.

Dogs, an integral part of life on the ranch, are used daily for various chores and tasks. New this year will be a two-day stock dog trial actually showing the skills of trainers and dogs. Trainers will come from multiple states across the Midwest and Southwest.

On both days of the expo, there will be an antique tractor parade and antique tractor games. Exhibits and information booths will be set up throughout the expo.

Kircher said he hopes participants will be able to visit with experts at the expo and have their agricultural questions answered.

Attendees who have a disability and are in need of an auxiliary aid or service, or anyone needing more information on the expo, can contact the Roosevelt County Extension Office at 575-356-4417 or visit http://www.nmagexpo.com/.