31st annual Texas Plant Protection Conference to be held Dec. 10-11 in Bryan

Artificial Intelligence’s Impact on Texas Agriculture will be the focus of the conference

The 31st annual Texas Plant Protection Conference will be held Dec. 10-11 in Bryan, with this year’s focus being on the impact of artificial intelligence, or AI, on Texas agriculture. 

The event will be held at The Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan.

Registration is $95 until Nov. 8. Fees after Nov. 8 will be $105. Student registration is $25, and student registration with poster presenters is free. Farmer registration is $25, and exhibitor/sponsor registration is $350 and includes one conference registration. 

Online registration is available by credit card, or participants may register by mail. Both forms are available on the conference page of the TPPA website.

Certified Crop Advisors and Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units will be offered for those attending the conference.

The poster section is an opportunity for researchers, including graduate students, to display information about their work. Graduate students compete for cash prizes for the top three posters. Email Josh McGinty, the 2019 poster chairman, to enter a poster or for more information.

For more than 26 years, conference participants have been invited to participate and challenge their skills of identification during the Pest ID Contest. Pests chosen for the contest can be related to cotton, corn, rice, sorghum, watermelons, grapes, pecans, walnuts, peanuts, citrus, pastureland and rangeland. The session concludes by going over all of the contest pest specimens for the participant’s reference. Awards and cash prizes are given to the top three identifiers. 

The winners of both the poster and pest ID contests will be announced during the TPPA Awards Luncheon.

Agenda highlights for the conference include: 

  • Dan Hale, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service associate director for agriculture and natural resources, will provide the welcome. 
  • Claudia Roessler, director for Agriculture in Microsoft Azure Global Engineering, will discuss “Artificial Intelligence – What is it, and What’s its Potential in Agriculture.”
  • Shannon Pickering, market development manager for Blue River Technology, will speak about “Artificial Intelligence – on Farm Applications.” 
  • Alex Thomasson, professor and Cotton Chair for the College of Agriculture and Life SciencesDepartment of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, will discuss the farming decision-making process using AI.
  • Jeff Divian, crop consultant for Ceres Imaging, will present  “Pest and Disease Management with AI – Separating Hype from Reality.” 
  • Fran Deville, with the Climate Corporation, and local farmer Todd Kimball will present “Digital Agriculture in Action – Farmer Perspective.” 
  • Mel Brown, chief executive officer for Mel Brown and Associates, will discuss what participants can do to increase their effectiveness in improving plant protection. 

Break out sessions will include: 

  • New Technology and Chemistry 
  • Pest Identification
  • Laws and Regulations 
  • Cotton 
  • Fertility Management 
  • Grain 
  • Horticulture/Turf 
  • Ag Technology 
  • Pasture and Rangeland

Additional conference information may be found at www.texasplantprotection.com.
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