The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted many business-as-usual operations across the nation, increasing the use of terms like fluid, flexible and paused as groups and institutions strive to continue to offer critical programs and information to the public.
The agriculture industry knows only too well how tentative plans can be under normal circumstances without the added complications due to the current coronavirus crisis.
In response, the LSU AgCenter annual wheat and oat field day traditionally held at the Macon Ridge Research Station will follow a virtual presentation format, replacing the usual on-site tours with recorded videos accessible on YouTube and other platforms.
“The LSU AgCenter is committed to providing relevant programs that address current and emerging issues faced by producers who are working diligently to support our agricultural food chain,” said AgCenter regional director Melissa Cater. “AgCenter experts will be filming the virtual learning opportunities in April to ensure the safety of agricultural producers and industry representatives as well as our faculty and staff.”
The field tours will be available for viewing through Louisiana Delta Crop Videos on YouTube at www.bit.ly/deltacrops and will be online beginning April 23.
“Even though we had a mild and very wet winter, wheat at the station looks excellent and yield potential is good,” said AgCenter plant pathologist Trey Price.
Despite some issues affecting vernalization with a few varieties, the variety trials are nice overall.
“Wheat remains a viable winter crop option for producers as long as they can get a stand established in the fall,” Price said.
“We work closely with LSU AgCenter wheat breeder Steve Harrison to test and develop varieties adapted to our area and the southeastern United States,” he added.
Thousands of plots of breeder selections and commercial varieties are screened for multiple diseases at the AgCenter Macon Ridge Research Station.
“Wheat scab is our major concern in Louisiana now due to weather patterns, reduced tillage and increased corn production, and we use a misted, inoculated nursery to challenge entries annually,” Price said.
Field tour presentations will include:
• Insect issues in cover crop and wheat production by AgCenter entomologist Sebe Brown.
• Wheat and oat breeding nursery tour by AgCenter plant breeder Steve Harrison.
• Wheat disease and production update by AgCenter plant pathologist and wheat specialist Boyd Padgett.
• Corn fertilization by AgCenter agronomist Rasel Parvej.
• Official Variety Trial and wheat scab nursery tour by Trey Price.