January offered southwest growers many opportunities to learn the latest about research,crop technology, markets and rules and regulations, including at the Red River Crops Conference at Altus, Okla. The two-day conference, a joint effort between Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Oklahoma Cooperative Extension, drew more than 200 growers and industry professionals from Oklahoma and Texas.
"We’ve always looked for those opportunities to look at where our growers are and how their world is shaped," says Tom Coon, vice president for Agricultural Programs at Oklahoma State University. "And clearly in cotton country, whether you’re on the south side or the north side of the Red River, it doesn’t really matter. The information needs, the challenges they’re facing with their crops and so on, really are common across that broad stretch of land.
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"I’m really pleased that we’ve had the partnership with Texas A&M over the last five years to put this on. Our Extension educators and specialists really work on this to try to understand what the needs of the industry are, the growers in particular, and to make sure we are getting the most current information out, whether it’s about farm policy or markets or agronomic traits or all the way up to ginners and millers."
Following Day 1 of the conference, Oklahoma held its first of many mandatory dicamba training meetings, drawing more than 200 growers and applicators.
"The training is part of the federal requirements for all applicators of the new dicamba formulations in the Xtend cropping systems," says training presenter Dr. Todd Baughman, Oklahoma State University weed scientist. “Not only must they go through the training but anyone they have applying the product for them must go through the training, which is a little different than some of the other rules and regs we’ve had in the past.
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“I think there’s a lot of good information in the training. I think one of the biggest things that we learned this year, in order not to have issues with this product, is the sensitivity and potential increase in volatility with AMS (Ammonium Sulfate) and how important maintaining the cleanout is in all parts of the system.”
Day 2 of the conference focused on in season and summer crops such as canola, grain sorghum and wheat, livestock and grain markets and the farm bill.
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