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By Echo Menges
The Lee Greenley, Jr. Memorial Research Center in Novelty hosted its 35th Annual Field Day on Tuesday, August 7, 2012. According to Greenley representative Jenni Peak a larger than usual crowd of 225 people attended the event, which is up about 17 percent from last year.
Three tours were offered this year, the Beef Tour, Crop Tour and Pest Tour.
In years past it has been customary for a tractor-trailer load of visitors to make various stops along a guided tour. At each stop a different presenter specializing in a specific arena of agriculture would show graphs, talk about research and usually compare that information to another study.
This year a few last minute changes were made by the organizers and presenters to account for the severe drought throughout the state and the influx of information seekers at the center. Several presenters altered their presentations to drought related topics, especially on the Beef and Crop Tours.
“This is an unusual year. The driest summer on record was in 1936 and we’ve only had about six more inches this year than they did that year,” said Peak. “We decided to alter the presentations around the middle of June and it really became evident in July when people started calling and saying, hey what do I do? Then Zach Erwin our Beef Specialist came out and started testing our crops and they were testing too high for nitrogen. We knew a lot of people were going to be looking for answers.”
Several of the presenters threw out their presentations all together and gave as much information and answered as many questions as they could in the time provided. Groups of growers and beef producers packed the rolling trailers beginning early in the day.
“Hay prices have gone up significantly. Everybody’s holding onto their hay right now. They want to see what the market will do,” said Livestock Specialist Dan Mallory during his presentation. Mallory talked and answered questions about the importance of spot testing for nitrogen and told beef producers straight out, “I don’t recommend carrying any open cows this year.”
“I’ve gotten a slew of questions on bailing corn,” said presenter Justin Sexten.
“We’ve been getting a lot of questions about bailing soy beans,” said Mallory.
According to Peak people who missed Greenely’s Annual Field Day can still call the center for information or with questions.
“People who didn’t make it can call us and we will mail them a book. It doesn’t have the answer to every question, but it’s a good start,” said Peak “Dr. Kelly Nelson and Superintendent Randall Smoot will do their best to answer any questions people may have. We did have a lot of good feed back for the tours this year and they really liked that we altered it for the drought.”