Texas A&M AgriLife spring field day set May 14 at Chillicothe

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, skledbetter@aag.tamu.edu
Contact: Dr. Paul DeLaune, 940-552-9941, pdelaune@ag.tamu.edu
Dr. Jackie Rudd, 806-677-5600, jcrudd@ag.tamu.edu
Steven Sparkman, 940-663-5958, sdsparkman@tamu.edu

CHILLICOTHE – Wheat, canola, triticale and cropping systems will be highlighted during a field day May 14 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Chillicothe Station, located south of Chillicothe on Farm-to-Market Road 392.

The annual Hardeman County Wheat Field Tour and the Rolling Plains Spring Field Day, held every three years, will be combined this year, according to Steven Sparkman, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agricultural and natural resources agent for Hardeman County.

Special guest Julie Borlaug, external relations director for Texas A&M AgriLife Research’s Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, will be the keynote speaker at the noon luncheon.

“It is fitting that we bring Julie in to speak with our producers at an event such as this because this is the 100th anniversary of the birth of her grandfather, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, who was called the ‘Father of the Green Revolution,’” said Dr. Jackie Rudd, AgriLife Research wheat breeder in Amarillo and co-planner of the event.

“He is credited with saving the lives of millions worldwide with his research that yielded higher producing grains for developing countries,” Rudd said. “Most of the high yielding, disease-resistant wheat varieties in the world trace back to germplasm developed by Dr. Borlaug.”

Three Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide applicator continuing education units – two general and one laws and regulations – will be offered. The fee is $10 for those planning to receive the continuing education units.

Registration begins at 7:45 a.m. and the program will start inside at 8:25 a.m. with Henry Krusekopf, Texas Department of Agriculture inspector from Wichita Falls, and Sparkman, discussing herbicide regulations.

The morning field tours will follow, beginning with a look at wheat and triticale, including variety trials, crop status and outlook, presented by Rudd; Jason Baker, AgriLife Research senior research associate in Amarillo, and Dr. Clark Neely, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service small grains and oilseed specialist in College Station.

Also at that stop will be the announcement of two new TAM wheat varieties being released by the Texas A&M AgriLife wheat breeding program will be made by Rudd and Steve Brown, Texas Foundation Seed Service general manager in Vernon.

A second stop will look at canola variety trials and general agronomic production issues such as row spacing and seeding rates, planting date and tillage practices. Co-planner Dr. Paul DeLaune, AgriLife Research environmental soil scientist at Vernon, and Neely will lead the discussion.

The final stop of the morning tour will be DeLaune presenting the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Health Initiative, as well as the pros and cons of incorporation of cover crops into cropping systems.

The program will move inside again after the tours for the noon lunch sponsored by the Texas Wheat Producers Association and more presentations, DeLaune said.

Julie Borlaug will monitor a discussion by a panel of wheat industry breeders about the future of wheat breeding, and then she will speak about the legacy of her grandfather, the international nature of agriculture and new technologies that are now available to plant breeders.

For more information, contact DeLaune at 940-552-9941, ext. 207, or Sparkman at 940-663-5958.

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