Agricultural pesticide applicators in southwestern Oklahoma and the Texas Rolling Plains region can pick up needed continuing education credits by participating in the Red River Crops Conference Jan. 17-18 in Altus.
“Texas is offering six pesticide applicator CEUs, Oklahoma is offering three pesticide applicator CEUs and participants also can earn 11.5 Certified Crop Advisor CEUs,” said Gary Strickland, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension agricultural educator and director of the Jackson County Extension Office.
A collaborative effort by the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, the conference focuses on providing relevant management information applicable to the Red River region that can help enhance the potential profitability of farm and ranch enterprises.
“Obstacles can include water and land resources, and weather extremes such as hot and dry summers and bitterly cold winters,” Strickland said. “Producers also find themselves managing pastures of both introduced and native grass for cattle operations, and crop mixes such as cotton, wheat, and grain and forage sorghum. In recent years, canola, guar and sesame also has been successfully cultivated within the region.”
The two-day conference in Altus, Oklahoma, will take place at the Southwest Technology Center, 711 W. Tamarack, situated north of Highway 62 and west of Main Street. Both days will begin with registration at 8 a.m. and conclude at approximately 4 p.m.
Cost is $25 per participant and includes both days. Registration forms are available through OSU Cooperative Extension and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension county offices.
“We ask that participants pre-register if possible as it greatly aids our planning for meals, refreshment breaks and conference materials, helping us to ensure everyone has the best conference experience possible,” Strickland said.
Of particular interest this year will be decision-making tools relative to growing cotton, which has recently become a more popular crop production possibility for Red River area farmers. Oklahoma became the nation’s fourth-leading producer of cotton in 2017.
“Although cotton is easier to grow today than in the past it still requires a high level of management and thorough knowledge of the crop, including awareness and understanding of the values and limitations of various transgenic technologies,” said Randy Boman, cotton program leader at OSU’s Southwest Research and Extension Center. “Variety performance is critical.”
The Jan. 17 conference sessions will focus on cotton and will be led by experts from academia and industry. Topics will include an overview of today’s cotton market, herbicide and weed control options, new technologies relative to cotton production, the latest information about cotton varieties and useful cover crops in cotton production, among others.
“Think of the conference as one-stop shopping as we will be covering a multitude of topics relative to cotton production and management,” Boman said. “If a cotton grower attends only one conference in 2018, this should be the one.”
In-season and summer crops will be featured on Jan. 18. Discussion topics will include cool season forage production; converting crop production land to perennial grass crops; updates and research-based insights relative to canola, sorghum, sesame and wheat production; livestock and grain markets; and a farm bill update.
Texas AgriLife Extension and OSU Cooperative Extension collaborated to conduct the first and very successful conference in January 2014. The conference alternates between Oklahoma and Texas annually.
Anyone seeking additional information about the conference should contact Strickland at 580-482-0823 or 580-482-3176.