Moving Delta Agriculture Forward

Fisher Delta Research Center Field Day to highlight work benefiting agriculture

At the 53rd Annual Field Day, four educational tours will start at 8:30am and will feature informational talks and demonstrations.At the 53rd Annual Field Day, four educational tours will start at 8:30am and will feature informational talks and demonstrations.

The Bootheel region of southeast Missouri is unique and in many ways unlike the rest of the Show-Me State. It mimics more of agriculture from Louisiana through Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee.

Called the Delta, the area encompasses the Mississippi River and is some of the most productive farmland in world. For more than a half century, the Fisher Delta Research Center (FDRC) there has provided the best advice for its producers.

On Sept. 2, FDRC will welcome farmers, producers and landowners for the 53rd Annual Fisher Delta Research Center Field Day to learn more about the latest in agriculture from experts and specialists.

Registration and breakfast starts at 7 a.m. in Rone Hall, located at the Lee Farm just east of Portageville. Four educational tours will start at 8:30 a.m. and will feature informational talks on cotton, crop protection, soybeans and crop monitoring at the center operated by the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR). Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The morning's breakfast will feature speeches by area politicians and those involved in helping make decisions for agriculture.The morning’s breakfast will feature speeches by area politicians and those involved in helping make decisions for agriculture.

“We are doing pertinent research for not just the Bootheel, but this information is beneficial to any producer in the surrounding area,” said Trent Haggard, FDRC director. “Everything we do is for the Delta. We may be in Missouri but the vast varieties of soil types and research from crops such as corn, cotton, rice and soybeans allow us to serve the Delta region and the rest of country.”

On the cotton tour, Cotton Specialist Andrea Jones will share the latest results from variety trials grown at the center. Christopher Main, cotton development specialist with PhytoGen Cottonseed, and Ty Fowler, product development manager at Deltapine, will talk about what is coming in 2015 for new cotton seed technology.

Each growing season can present challenges, especially from weeds and pests. On the crop protection tour, Weed Specialist Jim Heiser will speak on new tools to fight several of the Delta’s chemical-resistant weeds. FDRC’s new entomologist, Moneen Jones, pursues the latest problem insect and this year her presentation will be about improved pest monitoring and future applications to assist producers and consultants.

“It’s amazing to see all of the great new technology available that can really help increase efficiency on the farm,” said Haggard. “On the crop monitoring tour Kent Shannon, natural resource engineering Extension specialist, will share how UAV’s are the next valuable tool in agriculture and Earl Vories, USDA agriculture engineer, will show how sensors and UAV’s in the near future can be used for site specific crop management.”

Soybeans have become a crop more producers are looking to grow in the Delta region and the latest topic on many farmers’ minds is the ban of trans fat in foods. With current food production processes involving soybeans, trans fat becomes a byproduct. MU Professor Grover Shannon is looking to change this with developing soybean varieties that have high oleic seed oil and no trans fat. Shannon will share his latest developments along with Cropping Systems Specialist Gene Stevens who will speak on optimal soybean rotations with grain crops during the soybean tour.

Cotton Specialist Andrea Jones will once again highlight the latest cotton variety testing results.Cotton Specialist Andrea Jones will once again highlight the latest cotton variety testing results.

“This is the best time of the year to get this very beneficial information from some of the top researchers in the country,” added Haggard. “Hope you join us.”

For more information about the 53rd Annual Fisher Delta Research Center Field Day contact Tina Clark at 573-379-5431 or email clarktr@missouri.edu. Visit their new website at https://delta.missouri.edu/ for schedules and research going on at the center.

The Field Day will be held at the center’s Lee Farm, which is located at the intersection of highways T and TT, just east of Portageville. Coming from the north, take Exit 32 and head east on Highway 162 for 3.7 miles. Turn right onto Highway TT and head south for 2 miles and the farm will be on the left. From the south, take Exit 27 off Interstate 55 and head north on the E. Outer Road for 3.1 miles. Turn right onto Highway T and in 4.4 miles the road will end at the Lee Farm.

FDRC is one of CAFNR’s Agricultural Research Centers located throughout Missouri that host educational workshops. Visit https://cafnr.missouri.edu/events/ for more events located across the Show-Me State.

To download press-quality photos from last year’s Field Day, visit CAFNR’s Flickr site at http://bit.ly/FDRC13. Photos of Fisher Delta Research Center can be found at http://bit.ly/FDRCphotos.