UC Ag Extension Holds Crops and Water Conservation Field Day

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Oli Bachie, organizer of the event, explaining the importance of Rhodes grass and how it can be used.
Oli Bachie, organizer of the event, explains the importance of Rhodes grass and how it can be used during the Farm Bureau Field Day on Wednesday afternoon.

HOLTVILLE — The Imperial County’s UC Cooperative Extension and the California Department of Water Resources held their annual Agronomic Crops and Water Conservation Field Day on Wednesday morning.

“There is a good number of growers from here and we wanted people to understand what we are doing and the research we are conducting,” explained Dr. Oli Bachie, UCCE agronomy advisor for Riverside, Imperial and San Diego counties, and the organizer of the event.

Guests were able to get on tractor hay wagons and visit the seven stops set up throughout the Desert Research and Extension Center. Talks were scheduled for 10 minutes each and went into full detail about the set up of each station.

“We have been having Field Days for many years actually,” said Bachie, “but recently these few years actually maximized it. Instead of having one every two years, we are now doing two or one every year. This year is a very good turnout, better than what we had last year. I think we had good weather today, that might have encouraged people to come out. We also have more speakers this year than the previous year. So maybe having that many speakers and topics to be covered did actually attract people to come out and attend.”

There were seven stops throughout the day, each covering a different topic in a certain area of the facility.

Stop 1 consisted of crop nutrition. It discussed tools for assessing in-season and needs for wheat. It also talked about sustainable nutrient management and benefits of pest control. Stop 2 analyzed alfalfa production progress under subsurface drip irrigation. Stop 3 discussed alfalfa varieties, water use, and deficit irrigation. Dan Putnam of UC Cooperative Extensions talked about Kura clover for forage and seed production at stop 4. Stop 5 was an evaluation of stress resistance in wild and cultivated sunflowers, while stop 6 gave an update on automated irrigation systems.

There was also an overview on drones that are available to spot agricultural crop troubles. Bachie was the main speaker for Stop 7 and talked about Rhodes grass and how it can be adapted.

“It was actually a beautiful outcome,” commented Bachie. “I’m very happy that we have got about 25 speakers today and good crowd. That is a good turnout for a Field Day.”

Each stop ended with an the opportunity for guests to ask questions about the research. Lunch was served at noon and sponsored by RDO Equipment Company.

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