Research, innovation and education — you'll hear these three words repeated time and again when describing what a visitor will find at the Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day.
Scheduled for Tuesday, July 10 the event is not only a preview for the Sunbelt Expo held in October, but it's also a unique opportunity for farmers to see future trends in agriculture.
“Field Day focuses on seed varieties, chemical applications, irrigation technology and precision ag technology,” states Darrell Williams, Expo Farm Manager. “Farmers can receive first-hand information on these products from company representatives and university researchers. Some of the technology farmers will see here has yet to be placed on the market.”
This year's Field Day will host 25 companies as well as university researchers with 120 to 130 plots focusing on traditional row crop varieties. These will include 35 varieties each of corn and soybeans, 50 for cotton and 21 for peanuts. A plot highlighting Pearl Millet as an alternative crop will also be included.
Research is what the Sunbelt Ag Expo was built on and there is no shortage of it in the fields this year. The UGA Cotton and Peanut teams will be in the fields along with the UGA Pearl Millet Team.
Working in conjunction with the USDA-ARS the Pearl Millet team will highlight new hybrids not yet available to Southeastern growers. Pearl Millet has traditionally been grown as a food source for quail. However, the team will be highlighting the crop as one that can meet the needs of the poultry and ethanol industries.
The UGA Cotton team will focus on production issues — soil fertility, weed management, entomology and agronomy.
The UGA Peanut Research team will showcase a side-by-side comparison of every cultivar that has a seed available in 2007. Alongside this variety showcase will be their Planting Date Trial.
Of other interest to peanut producers will be the field display by the National Peanut Research Laboratory of Dawson, Ga. The USDA scientists from the lab will be showcasing their “Field to Fuel Tank” research on peanuts for biodisel. Two years of research have identified three potential oil peanut varieties, as well as production practices.
Chip Blalock, executive director of the Expo says, “Our ultimate goal is to help farmers increase their yield and profitability. We aim toward providing the producers with timely, applicable information they can utilize. One such example of this would be the irrigation technology shown at Field Day.”
According to Blalock there will be two major irrigation sites at Field Day. Reinke Mfg. Co. has partnered with AG Technologies and LLC/Trimble Navigation to show growers how applying GPS technology on a lateral irrigation system will enhance their watering efficiency while minimizing their costs.
The Georgia Soil & Water Conservation will be located adjacent to Medders Irrigation/Valmont. GSWCC will be focusing on its Agriculture Water Conservation Program. Aspects of this program that are of high interest are Ag Water Metering Program, Irrigator Pro and the Mobile Irrigation Lab.
The benefits of metering in relation to water conservation, improved efficiency and improved yields should provide valuable and timely information in light of the drought.
Trams begin departing for Field Tours at 8:30 a.m. and a complimentary lunch is served at 12:15 p.m. with door prize giveaways following lunch.
Field Day is a great opportunity to learn the about the latest in advancements in agriculture that can help farmers improve their economic efficiency so make your plans to attend — July 10 at Spence Field in Moultrie, Ga.
For more information go to www.sunbeltexpo.com  or 1-229-985-1968.