On Thursday, June 28, the University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station invites the public and producers to a field day at the Highland Rim Research and Education Center in Springfield.

Participants will hear presentations designed to enhance local production of a variety of commodities, including beef cattle, tobacco, soybeans, and tree fruits.

Growing a common native grass, switchgrass, will be discussed in a presentation about the Tennessee Biofuels Initiative, a plan to demonstrate and refine biofuels production technology in the state.

The event begins at 7:30 a.m. and runs through 1:00 p.m. Lunch is provided.

Specific program topics include:

• The age old decision — raise or buy replacement beef heifers;

• Renovating hay fields and pastures with Persist, a new variety of orchardgrass;

• Grazing systems and NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) guidelines regarding heavy use areas and available water;

• Fungal leaf spots on tobacco and how to use the newly-registered fungicide Quadris;

• Lessons learned from curing two crops of dark tobacco in one barn;

• Results from burley curing research for reduced risks, lowering TSNA;

• Freeze damage recovery in small fruits;

• Wildlife damage control in blueberries;

• New sweet corn varieties;

• Nutritionally and environmentally superior soybean varieties.

Tobacco producers in particular will be interested in presentations about two new tobacco varieties released by the Kentucky-Tennessee Tobacco Improvement Initiative. New dark tobacco variety KT D6LC has very high yield potential and higher black shank resistance than any dark variety except KT D4LC.

It also has high resistance to black root rot, wildfire and tobacco mosaic virus.

KT 206LC, which will be available for planting in 2008, is the first burley variety to combine high black shank resistance with moderate resistance to blue mold. It also has very high yield potential and high resistance to black root rot, wildfire, and tobacco mosaic, tobacco etch, and tobacco vein mottling viruses.

The field day site is located approximately 25 miles north of Nashville on Oakland Road in Springfield. The Highland Rim Research & Education Center is one of 10 branch research units in the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station system.

Directions to the center and other information about its operations are available online at http://highlandrim.tennessee.edu/.

For more information, contact your county UT Extension office or the Highland Rim Research and Education Center at (615) 382-3130.