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College of ACES discuss research at agricultural science centers annual field days

Date: 07/01/2014

A vital part of New Mexico State University?s land-grant university mission is to provide research-based information to the citizens of the state. The first step of accomplishing that mission is to understand what information the citizens need or want to know. The second step is to conduct the research. And, the final step is to share the findings of the research.

A man holding a microphone speaks to someone.
Sangu Angadi, crop physiologist, talks to attendees at a recent field day about his canola crop research at New Mexico State University's Agricultural Science Centers at Tucumcari, Clovis and Farmington. Farmington and Tucumcari will be among the five science centers around the state to host a field day this year.

For the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences to accomplish the first step, it has 12 off-campus agricultural science centers located around the state where grass-roots advisory boards, consisting of local farmers or ranchers, business people and interested citizens, identify problems and other issues needing research.

?Our science centers support fundamental and applied research under New Mexico?s varied environmental conditions to meet the agricultural and natural resource management needs of communities in every part of the state,? said Steve Loring, associate director of the Agricultural Experiment Station.

Besides sharing the research findings at workshops and conferences, NMSU faculty members assigned to these science centers host field days where the public is invited to tour the facility and learn about the research.

?The field day is a great opportunity for the area farmers and ranchers, as well as the general public and faculty members from the Las Cruces campus, to learn what is being done at the science centers,? Loring said.

This year five of the 12 agricultural science center will host field days. The event will be held at Corona, Farmington, Tucumcari, Clovis, Alcalde and Artesia.

The Corona Range and Livestock Research Center will open the field days on Saturday, July 19, beginning at 9 a.m. Lunch will be served following research poster presentations.

?The primary mission of the Corona center is to enhance the understanding of woody brush innovation, hydrology, cow-calf production, and big game management, and to develop innovative solutions to improve economic development in rangeland-bound communities,? Loring said.

The Agricultural Science Center at Farmington?s field day will be Friday, July 25, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Lunch will be served at noon to conclude the event.

?Farmington is our only facility west of the Continental Divide,? Loring said. ?Besides conducting third-party field trials on crops and herbicides, there is a wide variety of research being conducted on alternative crops for the Four Corners region.?

One of the two science centers serving Eastern New Mexico will host their field days on consecutive days.

The Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari?s field day will be Thursday, Aug. 7, beginning at 5 p.m. After a catered dinner, visitors tour the farm during a hayride.

?Tucumcari focuses on developing forage and grazing systems for irrigated lands in New Mexico and the western United States,? Loring said. ?It also evaluates non-traditional crops for adaption to the local area.?

Traditionally, the following day, the Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari hosts its field day. However, this year the event has been cancelled due to crop and irrigation damage that occurred during a recent hail storm.

The Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde will host its field day on Wednesday, Aug. 13, beginning at 8 a.m. Lunch will be served to conclude the event.

?This center is dedicated to research that will benefit small family farms on north-central New Mexico,? Loring said. ?Our fruit specialist is stationed at Alcalde where research on fruit crops is conducted.?

The final field day of the year will be Thursday, Sept. 11, at the Agricultural Science Center at Artesia. The event begins at 4:30 p.m. Dinner will be provided by the Yucca Cowbells prior to the tour of the farm.

?The research at Artesia focuses on agricultural interests of the Pecos River Valley,? Loring said. ?Ongoing research includes fertility studies and manure use in crop production, integrated pest management, weed management and performance evaluation of crop cultivars.?

Touring the agricultural science centers is a great way to see the wide variety of research being conducted by NMSU?s College of ACES faculty members. The road trip will take you into the varied landscapes that make New Mexico the Land of Enchantment.

For directions to each of the experiment stations, visit aces.nmsu.edu/aes/offcampus.html and follow the link to each center?s website.

Written by Jane Moorman

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