MILLERSVIEW – The annual Concho-McCulloch County Wheat Tour, conducted by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, is set to begin at 8 a.m. May 5 in the Millersview Gymnasium.
Vance Christie, AgriLife Extension agent in McCulloch County, said high fuel prices prompted this year’s meeting planners to focus on minimal-and no-till practices for wheat and small-grain production.
Five and a half Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units-three general, one integrated pest management and one and half laws and regulations-will be available to pesticide license holders attending the program.
“The planning group wants this program to address issues that are critical to small-grain producers in the Concho Valley,” Christie said. “Topping the list are the skyrocketing inputs producers are now having to invest into a crop and the need for grain storage systems prompted by last summer’s roller-coaster marketing woes.”
“If it doesn’t rain, there may not be too much to tour following the educational session, but if the test plots do survive to harvest, we should sure be able to gather some good data on drought-tolerant varieties this year,” he said.
Morning topics will include: wheat forage and grazing systems, fertility, wheat varieties, pathology and marketing options.
Speakers for the morning session will include: Dr. David Drake, AgriLife Extension agronomist, San Angelo; Dr. Robert Duncan, AgriLife Extension state wheat specialist, College Station; and Bill Thompson, AgriLife Extension economist, San Angelo.
An on-site lunch will be provided by area agribusinesses and sponsors. Updates will be given by personnel from the local Farm Services Agency and the Texas Wheat Board. Hector Guerrero, warning coordinator 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 no-till information, with budget and economic information provided by Thompson and Wade Polk, AgriLife Extension risk management specialist, San Angelo and a producer perspective shared by Paul Minzenmeyer, Runnels County farmer. Dr. Chris Sansone, AgriLife Extension entomologist at San Angelo, will wrap up the session with a presentation on grain storage and brown wheat mite problems on this year’s crop.
The day will conclude with a tour of the Millersview and Brady Nursery test plots.
For more information and to RSVP by May 3 for an accurate meal count, contact the AgriLife Extension office s in McCulloch County at 325-597-1295, or Concho County at 325-732-4304.