On July 25, regional agricultural scientists, Extension personnel and industry experts will be at the Sunbelt Ag Expo, sharing insight on the latest technologies and production practices farmers can use to put an edge on their operations, even during uncertain economic times.
The Sunbelt Ag Expo annual field day takes place at the 600-acre Darrell Williams Research Farm, located at the Expo show site at Spence Field in Moultrie, Ga. Registration is free for the half-day event. The day starts at 7:45 a.m. with breakfast followed by quick welcomes from the Georgia Department of Agriculture and Georgia Farm Bureau.
Shuttles will be loaded at 8 a.m. to tour the farm, where 30 stops are scheduled with a specific time allotted for each stop and crop, but visit as long as you like. Farm Credit will provide water for the tour. Tour shuttles will return to the main building by noon, and Ameris Bank will provide a lunch. There will be door prizes awarded.
Back to Farm
“We have streamlined the field day tour into a 4-hour window, which allows the farmers in attendance to get back to their operations that afternoon. Everything we do on the Darrell Williams Research Farm at the Sunbelt Ag Expo is geared towards improving the farmers that we serve economic and environmental sustainability,” said Blalock, who encourages participants to visit the static exhibitors in the RW Griffin building before and after the field tours.
Cody Mitchell manages the Sunbelt Expo’s farm, which as a year-round farming operation. And just like all operations in the area, weather can be challenge or a blessing at times. As spring started this year, unusually wet conditions hit most of the region. Michell and the crew prepped land and planted corn and transitioned into cotton, peanuts and soybeans between rain events and extended dry periods, coupled with near-perfect planting conditions at times. The crops planted and managed during the growing season will be harvested during the three-day Sunbelt Ag Expo Oct. 15-17.
“We work to maintain the farm to be one of the premier places to conduct agricultural research in the Southeast to draw the land-grant specialists and industry representatives who want benefit all row crop and forage farmers. Many growers do not have the resources, time or land to readily try a new variety or technology just on a whim. They need to have a pretty good idea of how newer practices and developments might work on their operations, and they can come here during field day, spend a half day with us, and get that idea and take that information back with them free of charge,” Mitchell said.
Who and What
University of Georgia researchers and Extension specialist conduct numerous trials at the Sunbelt farm for all major Southern agronomic crops. UGA Cooperative Extension specialists for cotton, soybeans and peanuts will be at the field day to talk strategies to better use fertility, manage disease and pests, and the best varieties to use when and where on a farm.
Herbicide resistance and proper application practices continue to be a major focus in the region. UGA weed specialists plus company representatives will talk about management strategies and the best ways to use new technology to deal with the issues plus what is coming down the pipeline.
Corn remains a staple crop for the Southeast, fitting nicely into growers’ sustainable crop rotations and management strategies.
Bayer representatives will be on the tour to showcase DeKalb corn varieties. Pioneer will spotlight its popular varieties. Progeny representatives, for the first time, will be on hand to talk about their corn varieties introduced to the lower Southeast. Syngenta corn varieties will also be on display.
Maximizing plant nutrients use is a top priority for growers who want to shoot for a variety’s top potential and economic return on investment. Fertility tests are being conducted throughout the Expo farm on corn, cotton, soybeans and peanuts.
Cotton genetics and variety packages continue to evolve and have gone through a resurgence with new technologies becoming more widely available and adopted by growers. The region’s best cotton varieties, based on annual variety tests across the Southeast, will be a primary draw at this year’s field day.
BASF cotton experts will discuss Stoneville varieties. The Expo farm continues to be a part of Deltapine’s New Product Evaluator program, and many of the same varieties grown at Expo are grown by farmers across the Cotton Belt as part of the NPE program. Americot has developed new varieties that have performed in the Southeast well, and several of their new varieties will be on display at the field day. Phytogen brand cotton has made a push in the Southeast in recent years and company representatives will highlight Phytogen varieties during field day stops.
Forquimica, a Brazilian company that recently moved some of its operation to Moultrie, Ga., will showcase its peanut plots.
Soybeans continue to a be a go-to option for growers in the Southeast. Progeny will also discuss its soybean offerings, along with Pioneer, Asgrow and Dyna-Gro soybean experts.