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Integrated crop, livestock field tour set for June 15

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech University will provide a demonstration field tour and chuck wagon cookout June 15 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Texas Tech Agricultural Field Lab near New Deal. Registration deadline for the event is June 13. This event is free and open to the public.

For decades, farmers in semi-arid region of the Texas High Plains have counted on limited precipitation and supplemental irrigation from the Ogallala aquifer for agricultural production. Because of heavy dependency on the aquifer, recharge has not kept pace with withdrawal. Consequently, the potential for the aquifer to “run dry” presents farmers with a major problem.

In response to the growing concern, a systems-oriented research project was initiated nine years ago, supported predominately by the USDA-Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. The project’s results have shed new light on the water conservation and profitability benefits of integrated crop/forage/livestock systems in comparison to traditional cotton monoculture systems.

This comprehensive research program has also generated a number of peripheral studies, including the impact of the integrated systems upon soil properties, plant diseases and weed control, as well as a human dimension study examining attitudinal variability of producers in the region towards integration of their own systems.

This event will feature experts on forages, carbon sequestration and credits to producers, irrigation technologies, soil fertility and fertilization, weed science, the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation, beef cattle management and soil.

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