August 10, 2011 Edition

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Field Day moved inside due to rain

Walnut Ridge farmer and retired ag pilot Sam Massey (right) visits with Dr. Jeremy Ross (left), Extension agronomist, and Dr. Bob Scott, Extension weed scientist, at the Lawrence and Randolph County Field Day hosted Friday by the local Extension offices.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt

Gretchen Hunt

The Lawrence and Randolph County Extension Field Day scheduled for Friday was moved indoors as much-needed rain fell in the area.

"We were supposed to be in fields today," Herb Ginn, staff chair for the Lawrence County Extension Office, said. "It rained, causing a bit of a challenge, but I don't think anyone here is going to complain."

Ginn said the event, which was held at the Lawrence County Meeting Room, had great attendance, with a lot of excellent research-based information shared with local farmers.

Walnut Ridge farmer Tori Hicks said information provided by Dr. Bob Scott, Extension weed scientist, was very helpful.

"He gave a very informative presentation on pigweed," he said. "It's something we are having to deal with, and it's nice to have a plan."

Scott spoke on controlling resistant weeds, such as pigweed, as well as weed control in peanuts. Also speaking were Dr. Jason Kelley, Extension agronomist, who spoke on corn production; Stewart Runsick, area agronomist, who spoke on rice production; Dr. Jeremy Ross, Extension agronomist, who spoke on soybean production; and Kevin Lawson, area agronomist, who spoke about corn verification fields.

Ray Stone of Walnut Ridge said he attends the field days to get updates on dealing with whatever the current year's problems are.

"Every few years, we have new problems," he said. "This year its weeds that have become resistant to herbicides."

In addition to pigweed in soybeans, farmers are concerned about the potential effect of barnyard grass on rice.

"There are concerns that the grass will get bad enough to reduce rice acres, which will impact the economy," Stone said. "If rice acreage is reduced by 20 percent, it will affect everyone."

Another issue that was addressed at the field day was the insect problems for soybeans and rice.

"Today, what probably most interested me was the information on managing insects as rice heads and soybeans form pods," Stone said.

A lunch, catered by Mel Fender's Chicken Shack Produce of Walnut Ridge, was served at the conclusion of the meeting. Several representatives of companies within the agriculture industry, including peanut companies interested in seeing production increase in the area, were on hand to visit with farmers, as well.

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