Organizers are planning to hold the third annual Precision Agriculture and Field Crops Day in an area of Alabama where precision agriculture is still in its infancy.
They have settled on Dee River Ranch near Aliceville in Pickens County — one of only a handful of farms in west Alabama that have adopted precision farming technology.
“So far, only a few west Alabama producers have adopted precision farming practices,” says Warren Griffith, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System regional agent and field day organizer. “But we have a lot of interest and are hopeful most of our producers will be on hand to attend the field day.”
Griffith and other organizers hope the decision to hold the field day in west Alabama will encourage more farmers in the region to consider precision farming techniques.
Registration for the field day, scheduled Wednesday, July 19, will begin at 9 a.m. at the Dee River Ranch barn. Tours will begin at 9:15 a.m., following a welcome by Annie Dee, one of the farm owners.
Lunch will be served at noon, following the completion of two guided tours.
Tour 1 will feature Ed Sikora, an Alabama Extension plant pathologist, who, along with Griffith, will discuss efforts under way to combat Asian soybean rust. Dennis Delaney, an Alabama Extension soybean specialist, and Angus Catchot, a Mississippi State University entomologist, will discuss soybean varieties and production issues.
Tour 2 will feature discussion of conservation-tillage by experts with the National Soil Dynamics Lab, a USDA Agricultural Research Service facility located at Auburn University. Speakers will include Kip Balkcom, Franciso Arriaga, Andrew Price and Kirk Iversen.
Erick Larson, a Mississippi State University agronomist, and Dennis Reginelli, Mississippi State University Extension Service area agronomic crops agent, will discuss corn varieties and production issues.
In addition, John Fulton, an Auburn University assistant professor of biosystems engineering, and Christian Brodbeck, an Auburn University engineer, will discuss precision drainage using a ditcher and dirt pan.
Shannon Norwood, an Alabama Extension multi-county agent specializing in precision agriculture, was especially pleased with this year’s selection of the Dee River Ranch.
“We have a lot of research going on at the ranch by a number of different experts, and west Alabama farmers should benefit tremendously from this insight,” she says.
Part of the barn has been reserved for educational exhibits. The area around the barn also has been set aside for precision farming equipment demonstrations.
Sponsors of this year’s field day include Alabama Soybean Producers, Auburn University, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Alabama Farmers Federation, and the USDA Agriculture Research Service, Auburn University.
Directions from Aliceville: To reach the Dee River Ranch from Aliceville, take Highway 17 South out of Aliceville. Travel about 10 miles and turn right onto Highway 32 West, which will be marked by a corner business named Southern Fencing. Travel approximately another mile and take the first paved right onto County Road 1. Travel an additional two miles until reaching the first two houses on the right. Signs will be posted designating parking areas.
Directions from Livingston: Travel from Highway 28 West to Highway 17 (approximately eight miles according to MapQuest). Turn right onto Highway 17 North. Travel approximately 29 miles to the Highway 32 intersection, turning left onto Highway 32, marked by a corner business named Southern Fencing. Travel approximately another mile and take the first paved right onto County Road 1. Travel an additional two miles until reaching the first two houses on the right. Signs will be posted designating parking areas.
Directions from Eutaw: Travel from Highway 14 West to Aliceville. Taking Highway 17 South, travel approximately 10 miles until intersecting with Highway 32 West. Turn Right on Highway 32, marked by a corner business named Southern Fencing. Travel approximately a mile until turning right onto the first paved road, County Road 1. Travel an additional two miles until reaching the first two houses on the right. Signs will be posted designating parking areas.