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Drought seminar slated for Coastal Bend growers

A drought strategy seminar has been scheduled to help Coastal Bend growers address their planting options, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.

“We’re in the grip of a severe, if not historic, drought,” said Jeffrey Stapper, an AgriLife Extension agent in Nueces County. “Without soil moisture, farmers throughout Texas, and especially in South Texas, are faced with some tough decisions about when and what to plant.”

The seminar will be held from 8:15 a.m. to noon, March 19 at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center on State Highway 44, just west of the Corpus Christi International Airport.

There are a variety of viable options available to growers faced with severe drought at planting time, Stapper said.

“Among those options is to do nothing and wait until it rains, then plant before the final planting date,” he said. “Or with no rain, growers may choose to plant in dry soil then collect insurance on a failed crop. But each grower faces unique situations, so this seminar is designed to present a variety of options to choose from.”

Sam Cameron, deputy director of the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency, will discuss options as they relate to crop insurance, Stapper said.

Other topics will include emergency alternative crops, the use of on-line computer tools to assess planting decisions and crop insurance, and how the drought will impact operations of the Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation.

“Scott Reed, the executive director of the Nueces County Famer Service Agency, will give us a local update, and we’ll discuss the implications of drought now followed by rains in a month or so and what that would mean for later-than-normal crops,” Stapper said.

Seed industry representatives will be on hand to discuss any special programs they might have for farmers.

“The seminar will end with a weather outlook provided by a forecaster from the National Weather Service,” Stapper said.

The seminar is being sponsored by AgriLife Extension in Nueces and San Patricio counties. For more information, contact Stapper at 361-767-5223.

TAGS: Management
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