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Enhancing Sustainability Options for Farmers

Enhancing Sustainability Options for Farmers

Irrigated Cotton at NFRECEnhancing Sustainability Options for Farmers

Article by Margaret Lawrence, News Unit Manager, Alabama Cooperative Extension

Weather is one of farming’s greatest challenges. But Dr. Brenda Ortiz, a corn and grain crops specialist with Alabama Extension, says farmers’ abilities to manage production risks like drought or heavy rains are improving.

“Many of the farmers who are leading the way in the use of risk resilient practices learned about them at Southeast Climate Extension workshops and outreach programs,” said Ortiz.

Producers can learn more about climate adaptation strategies at Ag Solutions Day Aug. 10 in Orange Beach, Alabama. The one-day event is free and will be held at the Orange Beach Events Center, 4671 Wharf Parkway. The meeting is slated for 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central Daylight Time and lunch will be provided.

Registration is encouraged by July 31. Visit http://www.aces.edu/go/551 to register online.  For more information, contact Jeana Baker at (334) 844-3922 or jlb0040@auburn.edu.

“Producers will learn best options for reducing climate-related risks,” said Ortiz. “In addition, they will learn the latest on solution-oriented technologies that will help them better manage risk.”

“Farmers will see innovations that can enhance their sustainability as well learn strategies that will allow them to upscale their production levels.”

Breakout Sessions

  • Conservation tillage and high-residue cover crops
  • Sub-surface drip irrigation
  • Variable rate irrigation
  • Sod-based rotation
  • Sesame—A New Crop for Southeast
  • Use of Drones in Agriculture

    Non-shatering varieites allow for mechnical harvesting at the end of the season.  Photo credit:  Doug Mayo

    Non-shattering varieties of sesame allow for mechanical harvesting at the end of the season. Photo credit: Doug Mayo

Producers will have a chance to get hands-on experience with Agroclimate website. AgroClimate uses crop simulation models along with climate data allowing producers to compare changes in possible outcomes under different conditions. Users can monitor growing degree days, chill hours, freeze risk, disease risks for selected crops and current and projected drought conditions. They can also learn about climate cycles affecting the Southeast, such as the El Niño.

Finally, participants will hear from farmers, industry representatives and Extension professionals during a panel discussion on agricultural solutions as well as a climate outlook for this summer and fall.

“Sponsored by Southeast Climate Extension project, this workshop offers growers a unique opportunity to learn from other growers as well as Extension professionals and scientists from a number of universities,” said Ortiz.

Southeast Climate Extension Project is a network of row crop farmers, agricultural Extension specialists, researchers and climate scientists engaging in climate adaptation dialogue in the southeastern United States. AG Solutions Day is the Southeast Climate Extension Project’s annual adaptation exchange outreach event.

Vetch is a native forage legume planted can be planted for cool season forage

Vetch is a native legume which can be planted as cool season forage.

 

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Author: Libbie Johnson – libbiej@ufl.edu

Agriculture agent at UF IFAS Escambia County Extension.
http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/

Libbie Johnson

Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/05/16/enhancing-sustainability-options-for-farmers/