Writer: Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576, [email protected]

Contact: Robert Pritz, 325-672-6048, [email protected]

ABILENE – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will conduct the Multi-County Wheat Tour beginning at 8:30 a.m. May 6 at the Taylor County variety test plots.

The test plots are located off State Highway 351 on County Road 521, also known as Mesquite Lane.

Robert Pritz, AgriLife Extension agent in Taylor County, said a stellar wheat growing season should make for an exciting and informative tour.

“This season’s optimal growing conditions should really reveal what these wheat varieties can do,” Pritz said. “On the other hand, the abundant moisture may also show us which varieties are more susceptible to the added pest and disease pressures these weather conditions often bring.”

Pritz said the tour and industry-sponsored lunch are free and open to the public. For further information and to RSVP by May 4, call any of the participating AgriLife Extension offices in the following counties: Callahan, 325-854-5835; Jones, 325-823-2432; Shackelford, 325-762-2232; or Taylor, 325-672-6048.

The first stop will include the following topics and speakers:

– Review of the planted test varieties and an overview of the area’s current small grain situation, Dr. David Drake, AgriLife Extension agronomist, San Angelo.

– Fertilizer applications and nutrient use efficiency, Dr. Jake Mowrer, AgriLife Extension soil nutrient and water resource management specialist, College Station.

– Farm Service Agency update, Robert Frost, Callahan County Farm Service Agency executive director.

The second stop, the Callahan County test plot, topics and speakers will include:

– Weed control demonstration and weed management options, Drake.

– Continuation of talk on fertilizer applications and nutrient use efficiency, Mowrer.

The final stop at the Eula Lions Club will include:

– Cover crops and their effect on soil health, Dr. Paul DeLaune, Texas A&M AgriLife Research environmental soil scientist, Vernon.

– Market situation and strategies, Dr. Mark Welch, AgriLife Extension economist, College Station.

– Crop insurance and decision aid tool, Bill Thompson, AgriLife Extension economist, San Angelo.

A Texas Department of Agriculture representative will make a presentation on laws and regulations following lunch.

Three Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units will be offered.