A crops tour providing southwest Alabama farmers with a comprehensive view of production issues and emerging technology will be held Aug. 9.

While the schedule remains tentative, the tour is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Gulf Coast Regional Research and Extension Center located on State Highway 104 in Fairhope.

The tour is sponsored by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station in partnership with the Alabama Farmers Federation and the USDA's Agriculture Research Service. Funding is provided in part by the Alabama Wheat and Feed Grains Producers, the Alabama Soybean Producers and the Alabama Cotton Commission.

The event will include stops at the Gulf Coast Center as well as local farms in the area, according to Dale Monks, an Extension crops expert and tour organizer.

“Basically, the tour is designed so that farmers can gain a good grasp of how cutting edge technology and other practices are being used in crop production,” Monks says.

Farmers, he says, will have the chance “to hear from and visit with researchers and producers who not only have adopted these new technologies and practices but learned how to work through them.”

Experts also will be on hand to discuss current crop production conditions in all of Alabama's major crops — cotton, corn, peanuts and soybeans.

Monks says the tour will offer something to everyone, regardless of their crop or current production practices.

Some of the topics that will be covered during the tour will include precision agriculture, conservation-tillage, crop disease detection and management, and the new Conservation Security Program.

For more information, contact the Alabama Cooperative Extension System office in Mobile County at 1-251-574-8445 or the Gulf Coast Regional Research and Extension Center at 1-251-928-2740.