Farmers across the Carolinas will be doing all they can to become more efficient in 2017 and a key to success is learning how to reduce costs without sacrificing yields which is why the 2017 SC AgriBiz & Farm Expo will focus on improving efficiency on the farm.
“The educational component of the Expo is critical,” explains Jody Martin, director of the SC AgriBiz & Farm Expo. “We lined up a program that will benefit livestock producers, small farmers and large row crop producers. The goal is to help our farmers improve their efficiency as we anticipate another challenging year in agriculture.”
The SC AgriBiz & Farm Expo is set for Jan. 11-12 at the Florence Civic Center in Florence, S.C. Martin said farmers will discover that the expo will provide “one stop shopping” for learning how to be more efficient, no matter what commodity they produce.
“With all the challenges over the past few years with floods, hurricanes, droughts and unfavorable commodity prices, it is imperative that we are as efficient as possible to maintain and grow our farming operations,” Martin said.
Here a few details on the educational sessions at the 2017 Expo:
From 11 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Jan. 11 in the Pee Dee Room at the Florence Civic Center, Dr. Nathan Smith and Dr. Kathy Coleman with Clemson University will present “Marketing Crops and Cattle in Our Current Economic Conditions.” Smith is professor and Extension economist with Clemson while Coleman is director of the Sandhill Research and Education Center in Columbia.
A concurrent seminar 11 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Jan. 11 the Santee Room will highlight “Spray Technologies to Save Money While Increasing Efficiency and Stewardship” by Dr. Jeremy Greene and Hollens Free. Greene is professor of entomology at Clemson while Free is a precision agriculture specialist with the Edisto Research and Education Center in Blackville.
From 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11 in the Santee Room, Buz Kloot and Carl Coleman will discuss “Cover Crops – Soil Health and Staying in the Farming Business – How Soil Health has Opened us up to New Possibilities in a Down Market through Several Bad Years.” Kloot is research associate professor at the University of South Carolina and a well-known expert on soil health while Coleman is a Dillon, S.C. farmer who has enjoyed much success with cover crops on his farm.
“Buz and Carl will share their experience and soil health journey for the last three years from a perspective of observations and research and how, with healthy, no-till soils, they have discovered how resilient soils are and how especially good they are at recycling nutrients and how other input costs have actually been cut,” Martin said. “You will get two perspectives one from a researcher and the other from a practical farmer.”
On Thursday, Jan. 12 at 11 a.m. in the Santee Room, Kendell Kirk, precision agriculture engineer at Clemson University, will speak on “Cost Effective Management Zones” where he will offer advice and techniques on using precision agriculture tools to improve efficiency.
In a second presentation, Dr. John Andrae, Scott Sell and Jay Crouch will discuss “Rethinking in-Season Fertilizer Recommendations for Hay Production” where they will encourage farmers to “think before they fertilize” because it will have a major impact on profit margins. Andrae is Extension forage specialist with Clemson University; Sell is an Extension associate on the livestock and forages program team at the Edisto Research and Education Center while Crouch is an area Extension agent with Clemson University.
A concurrent session will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 12 in the Pee Dee Room on “Understanding the Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA).” Dr. Julie Nortchutt, Dr. Scott Whiteside and Derek Underwood will explain how the act will affect all farmers and will lay out upcoming plans to educate and train growers about FSMA. Northcutt is a professor of food Safety at Clemson University. Scott is an associate professor of food science at Clemson while Underwood is assistant commissioner of the South Carolina Department of Agriculture.
“This session will feature a special Q&A time to make sure farmers get a better understanding of FSMA,” Martin said.
The expo will also include continuing education on vegetable program with Tony Melton, horticulture program lead with Clemson University, presenting. In addition, the Small Farmer Symposium will offer two days of special sessions to help new and existing small farmers in planning and marketing.
Several exhibitors will feature special optimization clinics at their booths during the afternoons of the expo. “These clinics will update and educate growers on new and innovative products, services and tools to help improve efficiency on the farm. This gives the exhibitors and growers an opportunity to learn and interact,” Martin said.
Confined Animal Manure Management (CAMM) training will be an important part of the expo with a session on “Impact of Fluctuating Fertilizer Prices on Manure Nutrient Value” where farmers will learn how to improve efficiency by using litter on their crop land. The CAMM training will also offer two CAMM credits.
“These are only a few examples of the outstanding education you will receive by attending the Expo. In addition, you will grain vast knowledge and connections with all the exhibitors and other growers while at the Expo,” Martin said
For more information, check out the Expo’s website at www.SCAgriBizExpo.com.