The Sunbelt Ag Expo recently conducted a special field day in Moultrie, Ga., and it was an excellent opportunity for farmers to receive updates on several issues – ranging from crop production inputs to new technologies. Southeast Cotton Editor Amanda Huber attended and offers this report on what she observed during a full day of activities.
 

A Recap Of The 2013 Sunbelt Expo Field Day

By Amanda Huber
Southeast Editor

The Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day – this year held on July 11, 2013 – was a good opportunity for producers to learn about crop production inputs for the top crops in the Southeast, to ask questions of Extension personnel and company representatives about issues that have come up during the mid-season and to get an idea of possible changes to be made for the next season.

This field day goes a long way toward helping the Sunbelt Ag Expo fulfill its mission of being a premier educational farm event showcasing agricultural technology, research and equipment.

Changes For 2013

The 2013 field day included information about crop varieties and new seed traits, crop protection products, fertility inputs and irrigation technology. Some static equipment exhibits were also available for producers to view.

For this year, the number of stops on the tour was reduced, but that didn't mean producers were missing out on valuable information. Instead, the plan was to focus on the primary research on the farm in cotton, corn, soybeans and peanuts, plus the irrigation plots and variety trials. After the tour, producers were able to meet with company representatives to ask specific questions.

Some of what producers learned at the Expo Field Day is as follows:

  • Pioneer has released a new series "T" for soybeans, which company officials say will push the limits of yield potential. The expanded range of varieties, technologies and traits with elite genetics includes products with the Roundup Ready, Genuity Roundup Ready II Yield, LibertyLink and DuPont STS herbicide tolerant traits and the Plenish high oleic trait.
  • Syngenta has introduced Quadris Top SB – a new fungicide for the soybean market. Producers can use this fungicide to help increase yield, maximize return on investment and help plants manage environmental stress, such as drought and high temperatures. In addition to improved stress management, these fungicides provide broad-spectrum, residual control of all major foliar diseases, and, in particular, it has shown good performance against strobilurin-resistant frogeye leaf spot, a widespread pathogen in the hot, humid conditions in the South.
  • Producers looking for a new rotational crop may look toward sesame. The Sesaco Corporation, looking outside the drought-riddled Southwest, has reached east toward the Southern United States. With Sesaco's proprietary varieties, farmers here are discovering that sesame can effectively extend resources and will positively return value to a rotation. Currently, there are about 12,000 acres in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Sesaco buys directly from the producer, who can expect yields of 1,000 pounds per acre or more. For more information on sesame production, visit www.sesaco.com.
  • Bayer CropSciences reports that its Stoneville varieties are doing well this year in Georgia, even with the wet conditions. Georgia is a full-season market and among the varieties highlighted were ST 4946 as a nematode-resistant variety and the FiberMax 1944 variety that offers good gin turnout and highyield potential. Bayer also reiterated its long-term commitment to the Southeast for Stoneville varieties.
  • While 2013 numbers are not in yet, Dow AgroSciences touted the No. 1 cotton variety (PhytoGen 499) planted in Georgia in 2012. But the company isn't looking to the past. Good experimental lines are already being selected for release next year, but the big news is Enlist, a new herbicide with tolerance to 2,4D. It will be offered in corn, soybeans and cotton varieties.
  • Changing the face of crop production is nothing new for Monsanto, and it plans to do it again in 2015 with the Xtend cotton crop system. The dicamba- and glufosinate-tolerant cotton would represent Monsanto's first stack of herbicide-tolerant technologies in cotton, containing Genuity Roundup Ready Flex stacked with dicamba and glufosinate tolerance for three unique modes of action. Part of the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System, this would provide cotton producers with the most effective weed management system available.

Amanda Huber is Southeast Editor for Cotton Farming and resides in Bronson, Fla. Contact her at ahuber@onegrower.com or (352) 486-7006.

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