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New crops tour at Agricenter

Memphis Bioworks Foundation and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture will host a new crops field tour on Aug. 6, at Agricenter International, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

The field tour will introduce farmers to a variety of new crop options being developed which could have an impact on the economy of the region and the nation. Crops that will be featured include castor, kenaf, sorghum, sunflower and switchgrass.

Speakers include Don Tyler, professor, biosystems engineering and environmental science, University of Tennessee, who will discuss the production of switchgrass and other biomass crops. Information will be provided on the establishment of switchgrass, agronomic practices, harvesting and handling. Tyler will also update the group on the progress of UT’s Biofuels Initiative focused on the cellulosic ethanol pilot plant in east Tennessee.

Pete Moss, Frazier Barnes & Associates, an agricultural consulting firm located in Memphis, Tenn., will update farmers on the potential for new oilseed crops and the crushing capacity in the west Tennessee region.

Following the field tour, an informational meeting will be held at the Agricenter farm shop to discuss the 25 Farmer Network, an AgBioworks initiative being coordinated by the Memphis Bioworks Foundation and BioDimensions. The initiative is focused on providing farmers with new business opportunities as they relate to new crops and value added processing technologies that will impact the development of biofuels and biobased products.

Follow signs from Agricenter International farm shop to field tour location. Agricenter International is located at 7777 Walnut Grove Rd. in Memphis.

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