Summary: Six agricultural field days are scheduled for North Carolina research stations through August. Topics covered include Christmas trees, produce, peanuts, dairy and tomatoes.
- In 2020, most meetings became virtual events out of necessity, including field days put on by the research stations across the state.
- If you are unfamiliar with field days, these events give farmers an opportunity to talk one-on-one with university researchers about research projects being conducted at a station. Visitors can get a progress report on projects and updates on what researchers are finding through the process.
- Some projects are focused on developing new plant varieties, some center around weed and pest management, and some look to optimize growth through new production techniques. We have a lot of interesting projects going on at the station.
- Field days are also a great time to ask questions, and meet other growers.
- North Carolina is unique in its approach to research, with 18 stations scattered across the state to account for the different climate, soil types and growing conditions across the state.
- I believe this is a smart approach given how significantly different conditions are from the blacklands area of Northeastern North Carolina to the clay soils of the Piedmont and to the sandy soils in the eastern part of the state.
- It would be difficult and most likely ineffective to make a one-size-fits-all recommendation for North Carolina farmers. Additionally, some of these stations are located in areas to cater research to specific crops.
- For example, the Peanut Belt Research Station in Lewiston-Woodville is appropriately named as it IS in what we would call North Carolina’s peanut belt.
- The station is planning its Field Day for June 30.
- The Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station and Extension Center in Mills River will host a grand opening of its new Produce Handling Building on July 20. I plan to attend and speak at this event.
- This facility will help educate growers on new FSMA requirements.
Other upcoming field days include
– Dairy Field Day at the Piedmont Research Station in Salisbury on July 28
– The National Christmas Tree meeting will be held at the Upper Mountain Research Station in Laurel Springs Aug. 6
– Tomato Field Day will be held at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station and Extension Center in Mills River Aug. 12
– And the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville will hold its annual Field Day Aug. 19.
- I encourage growers to plan to attend field days in their areas and in their field of production. It will be a day well spent learning about the latest on crop research and technology.
- We have these dates and locations listed on our department homepage at www.ncagr.gov.