PORTAGEVILLE -- Local farmers seeking technological advances in agriculture can witness it all firsthand Thursday during the 43rd Annual Delta Center Field Day.
Rain or shine, Delta Center Director Jake Fisher said the annual event is usually a big success, averaging 1,500 visitors each year.
"They want to see the latest technology and changes made in agriculture," said Fisher. "And they want to be at the cutting edge of things."
"Support Technology for the 21st Century" is this year's theme. Visitors will have access to five different tours featuring the latest research with all the major crops of the area, Fisher noted.
"For example, on the cotton production tour, Dr. Bobby Phipps will be discussing cotton planting decisions, and others will discuss boll weevil eradication and seed treatments for healthy cotton," Fisher said.
Dr. Andy Kendig, tour coordinator for the field day, said one of the most interesting presentations will come from Dr. Alan Blaine from Mississippi State University.
"He will be speaking about an early season soybean production system and that's something that's been a big interest to growers in the recent years," Kendig said. "And it's something farmers have been doing more of in Southeast Missouri."
Kendig, who is also an extension weed specialist, will discuss the reappearance of Mare's tail, or horseweed, which over the past couple years has developed a new resistance to glyphosate-based herbicides.
"Three years ago we basically did not have this (Mare's tail) and now the majority of no-till cotton farmers have dealt with this," Kendig said.
Glyphosate is a the active ingredient in Roundup and other herbicides, upon which farmers rely almost exclusively. Kendig will discuss various treatment options at the field day.
"Growers need to be aware of it, and we are very lucky in that we have some control options," Kendig said.
In addition, Mississippi County MU Extension Agronomist Anthony Ohmes will discuss new herbicide components that can control ryegrass effectively as well as rotating herbicides and other resistance management techniques. He will also talk about other winter wheat weeds, such as cheat and cornflower.
"Our farms and centers are where agricultural and life sciences research ideas are put to the real-world test," said John Poehlmann, Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station director of field operations, in a statement. "The sites are strategically located to test new production methods for fitness in the different regions of the state."
Other Delta researchers will discuss their latest findings on weed control in rice, new developments in soybean breeding and changing times for soybean insect pest management.
Information in regards to irrigation will be given about soybean tolerance to waterlogged soils, pivot efficiency and nitrogen management with aerial photography.
Not only do farmers and students from the area come out to the field day, but farmers from all over the state and even some come from northwest Tennessee and Arkansas, Kendig said.
Although it rained for the majority of last year's field day, the weather forecast is looking good this year, observed Kendig, adding the Delta staff will try to provide growers with the absolute latest information regarding agriculture.
"We're here to serve the people," Fisher agreed. "All of our staff is always excited to show their work, and the people are what's important. We've got a lot of information to share with them."
Tours run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lee Farm, seven miles southeast of the Delta Center office. For more information, contact the center at (573) 379-5431.