Summer crops, forage tours hosted Sept. 8 near Bushland

Two tour tracts highlight cropping systems, forage sorghums, beef feedlot research


Producers in the Texas High Plains can hear about the latest management research on summer crops ranging from sorghum to corn to watermelons, as well as irrigation and cattle at the Summer Crops Field Day Sept. 8 at the Conservation and Production Research Laboratory near Bushland.

The program is a combined effort of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service and West Texas A&M University.

This year’s field day activities include concurrent field tours at two locations. Each location will begin registration at 7:30 a.m., followed by a greeting and overview. Tours will be from 8:30 a.m.-noon. Participants are welcome to travel between the two tours on their own, or buses will be provided for Tour 2 only.

Attendees can meet for Tour 1, the annual Forage Sorghum Plot Tour, by traveling west of Amarillo, exiting Interstate 40 at Arnot Road, then 1 mile to Hill Road, and turn north 1 mile to plots on the east side of Hill Road. Plots are located at: 35.206188, -102.028114. Tour 2, dryland and irrigated cropping systems, including pest management, will be at the USDA-ARS Conservation and Production Research Laboratory, 2300 Experiment Station Road.

A complimentary lunch will be provided at noon in a large tent on the USDA-ARS facilities. During lunch, DeDe Jones, AgriLife Extension risk management program specialist, will give an update on the farm bill.

Sponsors for the tours include United Sorghum Checkoff Program, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Dyna-gro Seed, Bayer and the Ogallala Aquifer Program.

Tour 1: Forage sorghum plots and beef feedlot research

The tour topics and speakers will be:

• Hybrid trial overview — Jourdan Bell, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension agronomist, Amarillo.

• Insect management in forage sorghum — Jose Santiago Gonzalez, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension entomologist, Amarillo.

• Male sterile sorghum — Juan Pineiro, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension dairy specialist, Amarillo.

• Texas A&M AgriLife forage sorghum breeding program — Bill Rooney, Ph.D., AgriLife Research sorghum breeder, Bryan-College Station, and Nick Porter, AgriLife Research sorghum breeding research associate, Amarillo.

The open plot tour of the forage sorghum trials will be followed by presentations at the jointly operated Conservation and Production Research Laboratory feedlot.

• Texas grain source and processing for feedlot cattle — Vinicius Gouvea, Ph.D., AgriLife Research assistant professor of ruminant nutrition, Amarillo.

• Current applied beef cattle nutrition research — Jason Smith, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist, Amarillo.

• Evaluation and prediction of site and extent of protein digestion of ingredients commonly fed in beef cattle diets — Matthew Beck, Ph.D., USDA-ARS research animal scientist, Bushland.

• Improving the sustainability of beef and dairy cattle production in Southern High Plains, Jacek Koziel, Ph.D., USDA-ARS supervisory research agricultural engineer, Bushland.

Tour 2 – Irrigated and dryland crops research

The tour topics and speakers will be:

• Bench-terraces research and dryland and limited irrigation of forage in crop rotations — Louis Baumhardt, Ph.D., USDA-ARS research soil scientist.

• Comparison of mobile drip and LESA irrigation for specialty crop production — Paul Colaizzi, USDA-ARS research agricultural engineer, Bushland, and Andrea Leiva Soto and • Rajan Shrestha, AgriLife Research postdoctoral researchers, Amarillo.

• Weighing Lysimeters for sprinkler and subsurface drip irrigation — Gary Marek, Ph.D., USDA-ARS research agricultural engineer, Bushland.

• Precision Irrigation and fertigation management of cotton — Susan O’Shaughnessy, Ph.D., USDA-ARS research agricultural engineer, Bushland.

• Manure priming: heavy land application of dairy manure — Terra Thompson, Ph.D., USDA-ARS research soil scientist, Bushland.

• Challenges and updates from the Bushland herbicide trials — Kevin Heflin, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension agronomy program specialist, Amarillo.

• Why in the world did they change the name of the sugarcane aphid? — Jose Santiago Gonzalez, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension entomologist, Amarillo.

• Late-season decline: a new bacterial disease of corn identified in the Texas Panhandle — Ken Obasa, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension plant pathologist, Amarillo.

After lunch tour of irrigated crops

• Cotton production in thermo-limited regions of the High Plains — Thomas Marek, P.E., AgriLife Research senior research engineer, Amarillo.

• Breeding drought/heat tolerant, high-yielding and high-value corn — Wenwei Xu, Ph.D., AgriLife Research corn breeder, Lubbock.