Atchison County Crop Farmers Field Day

(Fairfax) -- Local agriculture producers have a chance to catch up on the latest trends and questions in the industry in Atchison County later this month.

The University of Missouri Graves-Chapple Extension and Education Center is hosting its 34th annual Crop Farmers Field Day event on August 22 in Fairfax. This year's presentations will range from market influences on crop inputs and weeds issues to sales and lease agreements. Jim Crawford is the field specialist in agricultural engineering with the extension. Crawford tells KMA News that on-farm economics are top-of-mind for most area producers.

"The markets are up, down, and all over the place and there's a lot of factors, so we'll have Dr. Scott Brown, who's been part of the faculty for years, and he'll be here to discuss the market outlook for us," said Crawford. "We're going to look at input costs which is also something that's very variable and makes a big different on producer's bottom lines. We'll have Dr. Ray Massey here discussing that."

Additionally, Mandy Bish will cover the latest news on corn and soybean diseases, including black tar spot. Crawford adds that a presenter will also talk about the weather outlook and the center's weather station, which secured a sponsor this spring, allowing it to function as a real-time station.

"Is the dryer weather going to persist or is it going to get through the winter and into the spring and what does a meteorologist think about it," he said. "The weather station at the center is now real-time so you can know what the weather is any time down there just by calling it up on your cell phone or computer. They're going to discuss the kind of information you can find on there as well as how to access it."

He adds that northwest Missouri has been fortunate to avoid much of the drought and dry conditions that have persisted throughout much of the region. The first tours will start at 8:15 a.m., including three tours covering various topics. Crawford says the center's original mission was to provide local information to area farmers and producers.

"This is an opportunity for us to bring actual data collected locally to their attention and things that can benefit them," Crawford emphasized. "It also helps cut out some of what I call the 'background clutter,' because you can go online and look at things and you'll find 20 pages with 20 different procedures or products you should use, or things you should or shouldn't do. All of the evidence and everything we present is research-based, unbiased information."

Additionally, this year's field day will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:45 a.m. for a new machine shed at the center. After years of development and construction, Crawford says the new 60-foot-by-80-foot building will serve multiple needs for the center.

"It will greatly enhance the ability for us to store more equipment on site as well as the different programming that we can hold down there now that we'll have more room in a place that's a little more convenient than our older, smaller machine shed," said Crawford. "So, we are excited to be able to cut the ribbon on that at field day."

Lunch will be provided at noon following the ribbon cutting. No pre-registration is required, and the event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the University of Missouri Graves-Chapple Extension at 660-744-6231.

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