Cotton farmers must aggressively manage weeds or the crop will not be worth harvesting in the Southeast. Period.
For Stanley Culpepper, his largest, on-farm cotton weed research takes place in Macon County, Ga., the place where a decade ago the first glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth in the world was confirmed. His second-largest place to conduct weed research is at the Sunbelt Ag Expo farm site in Moultrie, Ga.
“Small plot research is essential and useful, but we know that for a lot of what we are looking at we need as real-life, on-farm stuff as we can get, and the Sunbelt Expo farm is one of the primary sites where we conduct our larger research efforts. The Expo is a primary site where I do large-plot research,” said Culpepper, University of Georgia Extension weed specialist who works with cotton and vegetable weed management.
“When farmers face cotton prices like we have now, when they are struggling and trying to look to what inputs they can cut, weed management has proven not to be a place to look for those cuts, at least not for us facing resistance management. Right now, we know it costs a lot to control weeds, especially in cotton. But cutting back on weed control, and I’d say especially in a bad-pricing year, can come back to hurt growers,” said Michael Chafin, farm manager at the Sunbelt Expo Darrell Williams Research Farm
“What we try to do at the farm is provide a place where new technologies that will help farmers economically can be researched on a real working farm and that information to be shared with farmers. We have so many new ideas and technologies available today, and coming down the road soon, farmers need to know what is out there and how they can in an informed way make new technology and research options work for their operations,” Chafin said.
The Sunbelt Agriculture Expo Field Day is the best chance to visit one of the Southeast’s premier educational and research facilities and see the latest research and products related to weed management, said Chafin.
During the field day, participants can also see the latest crop technologies, products and varieties for all top commodities during one convenient half-day visit.
Sunbelt Ag Field Day will be July 9 at the Darrell Williams Research Farm, located at the Expo show site at Spence Field in Moultrie.
Registration is free for anyone who works in agriculture and the day starts at 7:15 a.m. with breakfast followed by quick welcomes and comments from the Georgia Department of Agriculture and Georgia Farm Bureau.
Shuttles will be loaded at 8 a.m. to tour the farm, where 30 stops are scheduled with specific time allotted for each stop. Participants will hear from the industry’s top consultants and specialists from the region and country. Farm Credit will provide the water for the water stops during the tour.