MILLERSVIEW – The annual Concho-McCulloch County Wheat Tour conducted by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service is set for 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. May 3 in the Millersview Gymnasium.
Michael Palmer, AgriLife Extension agent in Concho County, said high fuel and fertilizer prices, along with the possibility of making a good crop, prompted this year’s meeting planners to focus on minimal and no-till practices for wheat and small grain marketing.
Five and a half Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units — three general, one integrated pest management and one-and-a-half laws and regulations — will be available to pesticide license holders attending the program.
“The planning group would like this program to address issues critical to small grain producers in the Concho Valley,” Palmer said. “Topping the list are the skyrocketing inputs producers are now having to invest into a crop and the need for price protection to ensure higher pay-outs on the harvested grain.
“The plots look really good now, and barring any disastrous storms, there will be a number of small-grain varieties to tour following the educational session,” he said.
Morning topics will include: fertility, wheat varieties, marketing options and updates from personnel from the local U.S. Department of Agriculture-Farm Services Agency and the Texas Wheat Board.
Speakers for the morning session will include: Dr. Travis Miller, AgriLife Extension agronomist, College Station; Dr. Jackie Rudd, AgriLife Extension wheat specialist, Amarillo; Bill Thompson, AgriLife Extension economist, San Angelo; and Dr. Mark Welch, AgriLife Extension economist, College Station.
An on-site lunch will be provided by area agribusinesses and sponsors. During lunch, Hector Guerrero, warning coordinator meteorologist for the National Weather Service in San Angelo, will give the group his crop weather forecast for the near future.
The afternoon program will focus mostly on land preparation for no-till and conventional till methods provided by Dr. David Drake, AgriLife Extension agronomist, San Angelo. Dr. Chris Sansone, AgriLife Extension entomologist at San Angelo, will give an integrated pest management update and discuss the cherry oat aphid and Hessian fly outbreaks seen earlier this year. Cory Pence, Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide inspector, will end the presentations in the gym with a talk on pesticide laws and regulations.
The day will conclude with a tour of the Millersview and Brady nursery test plots.
For more information and to RSVP by May 1 to ensure an accurate meal count, contact the AgriLife Extension offices in McCulloch County at 325-597-1295, or Concho County at 325-732-4304.