Field day to feature 75 years of ‘Southern High Plains Agricultural Advancements’

Activities set for Aug. 29 at research facilities near Bushland

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu
Contact: Dr. Jerry Michels, 806-354-5806, gmichels@ag.tamu.edu
Dr. Dave Brauer, 806-356-5769, David.Brauer@ars.usda.gov

AMARILLO – A field day highlighting 75 years of research conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Research will be held Aug. 29 west of Bushland.

Researchers have been sharing their results with producers through field days for many years. (Courtesy photo)

Researchers have been sharing their results with producers through field days for many years. (Courtesy photo)

Registration in the AgriLife Research Porter Building at the Conservation and Production Research Laboratory will begin at 8:15 a.m., with field tours at 9 a.m., according to Dr. Jerry Michels, AgriLife Research entomologist and co-chair.

The tours will be followed by a luncheon with featured speakers, a historical perspective and a forward-looking panel discussion with local agriculture experts in the afternoon, and a light evening meal, said Dr. Dave Brauer, USDA-ARS research agronomist and co-chair.

Three Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units – one integrated pest management and two general – will be offered. Producers are advised that TDA will no longer accept a driver’s license or Social Security number; a valid applicator license number must be provided to obtain CEUs, the co-chairs said.

Morning tour stops and speakers from the Bushland research station will be:

-  Integrated pest management, alternative crops and emerging irrigation technology:  Dr. Charlie Rush, AgriLife Research plant pathologist; Michels; and Dr. Susan O’Shaughnessy, USDA-ARS research agricultural engineer.

-  Conservation tillage, wind erosion prevention and chemical control for fallow: Dr. Louis Baumhardt and Dr. Robert Schwartz, both USDA-ARS research soil scientists, and Dr. Qingwu Xue, AgriLife Research crop stress physiologist.

-  Irrigation technologies and management: Dr. Steve Evett, USDA-ARS acting research leader of soil and water management/soil scientist; Dr. Paul Colaizzi, USDA-ARS research agricultural engineer; and Thomas Marek, AgriLife Research senior research engineer.

-  Cattle research: Dr. Andy Cole, USDA-ARS acting laboratory director/ research leader of renewable energy and manure management research; Dr. Ted McCollum, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist; and Dr. Christian Ponce, AgriLife Research post-doc research associate.

Inside booths will include plant disease diagnostics by Dr. Ron French, AgriLife Extension plant pathologist, and Jacob Price, AgriLife Research associate.

Guest speakers at the lunch program will be Dr. Craig Nessler, AgriLife Research director from College Station, and Dr. Dan Upchurch, USDA-ARS Southern Plains Area director from College Station, along with Caleb Pool of Amarillo, district representative for U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry.

The program will move at 2 p.m. into the USDA-ARS facilities for the following presentations:

-  Historical overview, 1938-1990 – Dr. Bob Stewart, West Texas A&M University director of Dryland Agriculture Institute in Canyon and former USDA-ARS laboratory director.

-  Historical overview, 1990 to present – Evett.

-  Wheat breeding program – Dr. Jackie Rudd, AgriLife Research wheat breeder.

-  Cattle production – Cole.

-  Air quality – Dr. Brent Auvermann, AgriLife Extension agricultural engineering specialist.

An afternoon feature will be a panel discussion looking at the next 25 years with C.E. Williams, Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District manager, Panhandle; Ben Weinheimer, Texas Cattle Feeders Association vice president, Amarillo; Mike Schouten, Mission Dairy owner/operator, Hereford; and David Cleavinger, Oldham County wheat producer, Wildorado.

The event will wrap up from 4:15-6 p.m. with historical posters outlining the various programs, a light meal and reminiscences by present and past staff hosted by Stewart.

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