The tour wagons were packed throughout the morning, as guests enjoyed a variety of presentations related to soybean, cotton and weeds during the annual Fisher Delta Research Center Field Day. The event, which took place Friday, Aug. 30, featured more than 10 stops and allowed attendees to interact with numerous researchers.
The Field Day included an honorary breakfast with several University of Missouri dignitaries and state office holders, including Missouri Governor Mike Parson; Senator Roy Blunt; Congressman Jason Smith; Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe; Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft; Attorney General Eric Schmitt; Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn; President of the UM System Mun Choi; MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright; and Marshall Stewart, MU’s vice chancellor for extension and engagement and chief engagement officer for the UM System.
CAFNR Vice Chancellor and Dean Christopher Daubert also spoke. More than 1,000 individuals attended the breakfast.
“We worked really hard this year to make sure we were showcasing not only our outstanding research programs, but also talking about issues our local farmers and producers are facing,” said Jason Bean, interim superintendent of the Fisher Delta Research Center. “We appreciate everyone who took the time to attend our Field Day and participated in the tours.”
Pengyin Chen, Gene Stevens and Scotty Smothers presented during the soybean tour. Chen, who holds the Endowed Professorship in Soybean Breeding, discussed updates and new varieties from the Center’s soybean breeding program. Stevens, MU Extension professor, shared his research specialty crops for southeast Missouri. Smothers, a senior research associate, spoke about breeding soybeans for flood tolerance.
The cotton tour featured Calvin Meeks, a cotton agronomist, and Earl Vories, a USDA-ARS agricultural engineer, as well as Chelsea Toton. Meeks talked about improving production in Missouri through the use of reduced tillage production systems. Vories discussed precision irrigation. Toton, a research specialist, shared previous cotton variety testing results and observations for 2019.
“The Fisher Delta Research Center is known for its outstanding research related to cotton and soybeans,” Bean said. “Every speaker on these two tours showcased the great work we’ve been doing related to those two crops.”
Jim Heiser and Cody Cross spoke during the weed tour. Heiser, a senior research associate, shared research on overlapping soil herbicides in cotton. Cross, a research specialist, presented on general weed science topics. Larry Steckel, with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, also spoke during the weed tour.
There was also a general agriculture tour that showcased ag marketing, industrial hemp and ground water resources of the Bootheel.
The Field Day also featured a big announcement, with University of Missouri officials sharing news of a $6.5 million investment in the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station, which operates a system of Agricultural Research Centers – including the Fisher Delta Research Center – across Missouri in an effort to meet the regional needs of agricultural producers and natural resource managers. The investment will enhance the university’s ability to share next-generation agricultural technologies developed by MU researchers with Missouri’s farmers and ranchers. The joint investment comes from the UM System, MU, CAFNR and MU Extension.
“The investment in the Research Centers is huge news, and it’s definitely exciting to see such a strong partnership put money toward a worthy endeavor,” Bean said. “Our Research Centers, farmers and producers will all benefit from this investment.”
For a closer look at the Fisher Delta Research Center Field Day, visit: flickr.com/photos/cafnr/albums/72157710613213681.