Tour exposes farmers to latest research

Published 5:38 pm Monday, July 22, 2013

Clay and Charly Respess of CKC Farms in the Terra Ceia community are hosts of this year’s 43rd-annual Blackland Farm Managers Tour.

The Aug. 7 event begins at 8 a.m. with registration. CKC Farms is located at 5887 Christian School Road, Pantego.

The annual Blackland Farm Managers Tour provides farmers information concerning crops, equipment, best-management practices and other agriculture-related items. It also provides an opportunity for two hours of pesticide credits for pesticide applicators in subclasses D, N, O and X.

Some area farmers take a day off from their normal chores to attend the Blackland Farm Managers Tour to “harvest” information that should help them produce higher crop yields, reduce the affects of pests on their crops and expose them to the latest agricultural innovations.

About 250 to 300 people are expected to attend, said Rod Gurganus with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service’s office in Washington. Those people include farmers, agri-business people, research scientists and government officials.

“I may be wrong on this, but it’s one of the largest, if not the largest, event of its kind in the state — a field-based tour,” Gurganus said Monday.

“We’ll have test plots in the field that we will go through and look at. The university specialists and researchers will talk about their research, test plots and what they’re trying to achieve, what they’re trying to find out. It usually revolved around corn and soybeans. This year, we’ve got cotton and grain sorghum as well on the tour,” Gurganus said.

 “The importance is, basically, to give the farmers some of the latest research-based information from the universities, from the researchers to help them. … It’s a pretty big event in terms of getting new technologies out there and new production practices into the hands of farmers so they can maximize their yields and profits.”

Opening remarks are scheduled to run from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Plot tours occur from 9 a.m. to noon. Lunch is slated from noon to 1 p.m.

The following speakers and their topics are part of the event:

 Alan Meijer: “Tillage Systems Can Affect Moisture Stress.”

Ron Heiniger: “Choosing the Right Components to Maximize Hybrid Yield Potential in Corn Cropping Systems” and “Maximizing Kernel Weight in Corn.”

Carl Crozier: “Corn Nitrogen Management.”

Wes Everman: “PPO and Liberty Herbicide Application Timing.”

Dominic Reisig: “Current Row Crop Insect Issues.”

Frank Winslow and Lance Grimes: “High Yield Soybean Test.”

Jim Dunphy: “A Comparison of Soybean Row Widths” and “Soybean Rust Sentinel Plots.”

Leah Boerema: “Grain Sorghum Variety and Fungicide Trial.”

Chad Poole: “Automated Drainage Water Management.”

Rod Gurganus: “The Importance of Evenly Spaced Corn Plants.”

For more information about the event, call the local office of the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service at 946-0111.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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