PORTAGEVILLE - For 39 years the University of Missouri's Delta Research Center has sought to introduce area farmers to new ideas at its annual Field Day. Aug. 31, the 40th year for the program, will be more of the same.
Jake Fisher remembers that first Field Day. A new researcher, he spent Field Day 40 years ago talking with local farmers about his soybean research under way on the 75 acres which then made up the Delta Center.
Today, Fisher is superintendent of the Delta Center, overseeing the 550 acres of research plots and programs. He said he still looks forward to the annual event.
"My favorite thing about this is we get to see our old friends and meet new people," said Fisher. "We have the best people in the world in the Bootheel."
And like the past 39 years of Field Days, this year's event promises to provide those attending with lots of information.
The Rone Exhibit Hall on the Lee Farm will be filled with booths by exhibitors. Four tours will be set up through the fields surrounding the hall; each tour is centered on topics of interest to farmers.
Through the 40 years, Fisher said the Delta Center has introduced farmers, who come from neighboring states as well as the Missouri Bootheel, to some of the latest advances in agriculture. The Delta Center has developed 12 soybean varieties and six cotton varieties, has played an important role in herbicide research and is continuing to study irrigation techniques, which has a growing importance in the Bootheel.
"We are anxious to show the results of our work," noted Fisher. "We here to serve the public and farmers."
Beginning at 9 a.m., tractors pulling covered trailers will depart from the Rone Hall. The color-coded tours will travel through the fields, stopping at various research stations, where Delta Center scientists will explain their work.
The Blue Tour centers on cotton production including weed and pest management, late season cotton management problems and foliar potassium on bronze wilt of cotton.
The Green Tour will cover topics including soil compaction in corn, a variety testing project and irrigation.
The Red Tour will concentrate on rice production including no-till diseases in rice, flood determination and weed control.
The Yellow Tour's topic will be soybean production with information provided on flood tolerance in soybeans, weed control and the ultra-early soybean production system.
An analysis of the proposed farm bill now in the U.S. Congress and environmental regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency will be given at 1 p.m. in the Rone Exhibit Hall, following lunch.
Representatives of the University of Missouri Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute in Columbia will review the impact of the proposed farm bill now in the U.S. Congress and environmental regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The first talk will be on the House version of the proposed Farm Bill.
Gary Adams, Peter Zimmel, Brent Carpenter and Joe Trujillo, all FAPRI analysts from Columbia, have looked at the impact on grain, oilseed and cotton production, including prices and acreages for the next 10 years. They will tell about the national impacts on supply and demand.
Next, they will show the impact on representative farms in the Delta, showing changes in income and the associated risks.
FAPRI is also looking at economic impact on farms from the EPA regulations on Confined Animal Feeding Operations.
Finally, there will be a question and answer session.
While the information available on Aug. 31 is geared to the farmer, it is really the consumers who benefit, Fisher emphasized. Improved farming techniques brings increases in production.
"Everyone likes to eat," he observed. "We are talking about feeding the world here."
Lee Farm is located at the junction of highways T and TT southeast of Portageville. Travelers on Interstate 55 can exit at Highway 162 at Portageville and go east to Highway TT, then south to the farm.