By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
For more than a decade, the Great Plains Crop Residue Management Alliance has hosted the Farmers, Agriculture, Conservation Technology Conference in early January.
The conference will be on a break this year, but Mike Hanson of the Seward County K-State Extension office says producers will have a chance to educate themselves later this month.
“We are just going to do a winter agronomy update put on by K-State specialists and agents only,” he said. “We’re going to have one in Ulysses and the same program the next day here in Liberal.”
The Ulysses event will take place on Jan. 24, with the Liberal program beginning at 9 a.m. on Jan. 25 at the Seward County Activity Center.
“There will be certified crop advisor and continuing education credits available for those needing those,” Hanson said. “Lunch will be served. There’s no charge. We’d like you to register, but it’s not required.”
Those wishing to register may do so by calling the Extension at 624-5604.
A major topic of the forum will be weed control, something Hanson said is playing a significant factor in Southwest Kansas agriculture.
“We’ve got some weeds that are becoming more resistant to some of the chemicals we’ve been using, and there’s some new chemical families that should help out on that,” he said.
Cotton has become a popular crop in the area, and Hanson said there will be some discussion of harvesting issues.
“We’re going to discuss cotton production with Stu Duncan out of K-State in Manhattan and talk about some do’s and don’ts there,” he said. “He’s kind of our resident expert on that.”
Abengoa Energy is in the process of constructing a biomass cellulose plant in Hugoton, and Hanson said with this comes talk of residue and the amount which should be left from a plant.
“We’re going to have DeAnn Presley from K-State come out and talk about residue management,” he said.
Ken Martin will be on hand from K-State’s Garden City Southwest Area office to talk to producers about soil nutrient management.
“He will also be talking about some wheat diseases,” Hanson said. “We’ll talk about the economics of residue removal.”
As for why the Great Plains Alliance decided not to have the F.A.C.T. Conference this year, Hanson said there were a few factors involved.
“The reason we decided not to have the F.A.C.T. Conference this year, kind of step away for at least a year is because the problem of trying to get coordinators and the money to pay the coordinator and set up all the vendors,” he said. “We just thought we’d go more with the educational aspect, which is really what we’re here for.”