A few storms didn’t dampen the Fisher Delta Research Center field day, as more than 1,000 guests attended the annual event, held Thursday, Aug. 31, in Portageville.
The rain moved the traditional wagon tours inside where attendees learned more about the soybeans, rice and cotton research taking place at the Center. The field day also featured an honorary breakfast with several University of Missouri dignitaries and state office holders, including Mun Choi, president of the UM System; MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright; MU Board of Curators member Darryl Chatman; Missouri Governor Eric Greitens; Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill; Congressman Jason Smith; and Missouri Department of Agriculture Deputy Director Garrett Hawkins.
“We have wonderful leadership at all levels of Missouri agriculture, and they were fully invested and on display at our field day,” said Fisher Delta Research Center Director Trent Haggard. “We appreciate everything they have and continue to do for the future of Bootheel agriculture and the research accomplished at the Center.”
The field day, the 56th in the Center’s history, was dedicated to advisory board member Caleb Davis, who has played a vital role in the long-term development of the Center and ensuring that Bootheel agricultural needs are researched locally. Davis was honored during the breakfast.
“Caleb’s role advising the Center has made a huge impact,” Haggard said. “His support and guidance has been beneficial to all farmers in the Bootheel. In addition, he has always been a passionate and effective ambassador for Mizzou. He has personally recruited and mentored several MU agriculture graduates who have returned home after college and productively contribute today in our local agriculture sector.”
The field day was split into three different tours, with speakers discussing the latest updates on soybeans, rice and cotton. The soybean tour featured Pengyin Chen and Kevin Bradley. Chen, who holds the MU Plant Sciences Endowed Professorship of Soybean Breeding, gave an update on new soybean varieties developed at the Center. Bradley, an associate professor and MU Extension weed scientist, discussed the current and future challenges with dicamba products.
The rice tour was led by Jim Heiser, a senior research associate, and David Dunn, an MU Extension associate in the soil testing lab. Heiser talked about promising new rice weed control products for 2018. Dunn presented on evaluating the different methods of winter rice straw management.
The cotton tour featured several topics. Ken Sudduth and Earl Vories, both USDA-ARS agriculture engineers, discussed soil measurements and yield monitoring within site-specific cotton management, respectively. Extension professor Gene Stevens talked about the effects of potassium fertility on cotton. Senior research associate Matthew Rhine presented on cotton rooting depth and irrigation management.
“Our team does a phenomenal job of organizing and executing all facets of our field day,” Haggard said. “The rain did change our schedule somewhat, but our presenters did an excellent job of providing attendees with relevant and timely information.”
Among the speakers during the breakfast was Christopher Daubert, the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Vice Chancellor and Dean. Daubert began his duties on Aug. 1.
Along with the research presentations, a free lunch was served at noon. There were several booths and regional vendors on hand for guests to talk with as well.
For a closer look at the Fisher Delta Research Center field day, visit: flickr.com/photos/cafnr/albums/72157688439991265.