The Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day’s schedule will be a bit different this year, but its main focus will not change. Attendees this year will get an informative, concentrated dose of its core mission: To be a premier educational facility for the Southeast’s top moneymaking commodities and the one-stop, mid-summer place to see the best products and varieties in action.

Sunbelt Ag Field Day will be July 11. Breakfast will be served at 7:15 a.m. with short welcomes and comments. At 8 a.m. sharp, attendees will start boarding shuttles to tour the farm site grounds, where this year stops will be pared down a bit to 30 or so.

The tours will end by noon. Unlike field days in past years, there will be no lunch served or noon program this year. But attendees won’t be rushed out. Sponsors and many company representatives will be on hand and have booths set up where the shuttles unload passengers for attendees to mingle and talk with them as long as they like. Just as in the past, there will be door prizes awarded.

“We are aiming this year to really showcase our core research and what we do best here on the farm. That would be our irrigation and water management plots in addition to our research plots. We’re not taking anything out from previous field days, but we’re really focusing this field day on our core agronomic crops like corn, cotton, soybeans and peanuts. For those interested, they will still get to see some experimental crops,” says Michael Chafin, now in his second year as Sunbelt Ag Expo farm site manager.

Variety trials and plots are top draws each year for the field day, and this year will be no different. Despite a cool, wet spring planting season, which slowed planting for everyone, 25 to 30 top corn varieties will be past tassling stage and setting kernels for attendees to judge for themselves.

Monsanto will feature its DeKalb corn varieties. Southern States will feature its top performing hybrids. Pioneer also will have popular corn varieties, often used by high-yield winners, on display at the field day. And, Syngenta will display their Norfolk King corn hybrids developed for the Southeast.

Fertilizer tests are being conducted on corn and most other crops being grown at the Expo. Maximizing plant nutrient use is always a top priority for growers, or at least it should be, Chafin says.