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Fisher Delta Center field day set for Aug. 29


Kyle Spradley
Senior Information Specialist
University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Phone: 573-882-5919

Published: Monday, July 29, 2013

PORTAGEVILLE, Mo. – On Aug. 29, the public is invited to Fisher Delta Research Center’s field day. The annual free event, now in its 52nd year, is a chance to find out what is going on at the local research center and for landowners, agriculture producers, field scouts and those involved with agribusiness to learn better management practices from educational tours.

A complimentary breakfast kicks off the day at 7 a.m. in Rone Hall. Tours will begin at 9 a.m. and will conclude at 1 p.m., when lunch will be served. Tour topics will include more energy-efficient ways to irrigate, nitrogen management in dry and wet years, specialized irrigation management for different soybean maturity groups, and using a smartphone to manage water deficiencies. Information from trials of new cotton, soybean, corn and wheat varieties also will be available.

Back again this year is the FFA program, geared to inform students about the importance of agriculture and how rewarding a life on the farm can be. Last year, more than 500 high school students attended the program, which runs simultaneously throughout the day.

The field day also will honor the career of departing plant pathologist Allen Wrather, who has been with the research center for 33 years during his illustrious 41-year career with the University of Missouri.

This year’s theme is “Meeting the Diverse Needs of Missouri Agriculture,” and the field day will center on using new technology to better target management strategies and to optimize yield and revenue. Highlighted will be how to better deal with the challenges Missourians have faced in the past few years.

“With a flood one year and a drought the next, we all have had some hard times, but we hope to teach people about how to deal with the extremes Mother Nature throws us,” adds Fisher Delta Center director Trent Haggard. “The theme also is a statement about the diverse amount of research here with cotton, rice, corn, wheat, soybeans and testing in up to 15 different soil types. This truly is a unique research center.”

The public will get a chance to meet Moneen Jones, a new assistant research professor who joins the staff from the University of Florida as a leading entomologist. Research associate Jim Heiser also will be available to speak with the public. Heiser is the center’s new weed science specialist, coming from crop production specialist Gene Stevens’ team at the research center.

“We are excited for these researchers to begin working with our team,” says Haggard. “They will add to the already great research going on here and allow us to provide more to the community.”

Each year, the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources sponsors the Fisher Delta Center field day as an opportunity for the members of the public to find out what research goes on in their community.

The soils and topography of southeastern Missouri offer researchers a unique opportunity to study cotton and rice production and irrigation. Researchers also are evaluating better soybean cropping systems, and weed, insect and disease control systems. Three locations make up Fisher Delta Research Center’s 1,078 acres in a 12-county area that forms the Missouri Bootheel. Scientists at the center have gained recognition for developing improved soybean varieties, especially those with soybean cyst nematode resistance, and the center maintains a regional soil- and plant-testing laboratory.

For more information, contact Tina Clark at 573-379-5431 or Visit closer to the event for an updated schedule of events.