By: Beth Ann Luedeker

TPPA Chairman Ray Smith talking at podium
TPPA Chairman Ray Smith addressed the participants at the 29th annual TPPA conference

Members of the Texas Plant Protection Association held their 29th annual conference at the Brazos Center in Bryan December 6 and 7. The non-profit organization is comprised leaders in agribusiness, agriculture research, extension and education, and agriculture regulatory agencies.

Attendees heard presentations on all aspects of agriculture, from ag credit to management technologies to the U.S. Farm Bill and more.

Dr. Peter Dotray talking to conference participants
Dr. Peter Dotray, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Weed Specialist and professor at Texas Tech University, presented information on current cotton technologies during the TPPA conference

“We have been talking about stewardship this year, not only stewardship of the land but also stewardship of the herbicide technology we are working with,” said Dr. Peter Dotray, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Weed Specialist with the TAMU and Texas Tech University, during his discussion on current cotton technologies. “There are big rewards with new tech, but there are also risks of over use and misuse. We need to be mindful as we make applications.”

“It is important to move toward a better understanding of the plants we are trying to control,” Dotray said. “Muthu [Dr. Muthu Bagavathiannan] in College Station has provided a lot information and many others have contributed but there is much more to do.”

“We are at a crossroads,” he said. “We have had pretty good results but it is important to be on the same page, to know the proper herbicide for the weed pest we are targeting, proper nozzel size and application rates, so the technology we are trying to steward will be here beyond the current season.”

Pramod Pokhrel with his poster
Pramod Pokhrel, a doctoral student under Dr. Nithya Rajan, placed first in the TPPA PhD student poster contest.

A poster contest was held in conjunction with the meeting, which drew more than 30 entries. In the doctoral student contest Pramod Pokhrel, who is working on his PhD in Agronomy under Dr. Nithya Rajan, placed first. Seth Abugho, who is working in Weed Science under Dr. Muthu Bagavathiannan, placed second, and Mahendra Bhandri, who is studying Agronomy under Dr. Qingwu Xu and Dr. Amir Ibrahim, placing third.

The Master Student Poster contest was won by Sadie Church, a student of Dr. Ronnie Schnell. Second place was Zane Jenkins and third was Aislinn Walton, both students at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX., under Dr. Jourdan Bell and Dr. Qinwu Xue.

Industry Awards were presented to Ronnie Phillips of Phillips Ag Consulting and Research, and Tony Driver of Syngenta.

Seth Abugho with Dr. Gary Schwarzlose and Dr. Clark Neely
Seth Abugho, center, placed second in the 2017 TPPA Ph.D. student poster contest. Presenting the award are Dr. Gary Schwarzlose, TPPA president, and Dr. Clark Neely, TPPA vice president and poster chairman. Texas A&M AgriLife photo by: Blair Fannin
Sadie Church receiving award
Sadie Church receives her award for the first place master student poster from Gary Schwarzlose, TPPA president, and Dr. Clark Neely, vice president and poster chairman.