The Big Country Wheat Conference, conducted biennially by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, will be held Thursday, Aug. 23, in the Big Country Hall on the Taylor County Exposition Center grounds, 1982 Lytle Way, in Abilene.
On-site registration will start at 7:30 a.m., and the conference will end at 4 p.m. There is no registration fee for those who preregister by an Aug. 17 preregistration deadline, but registration is $20 after that deadline or at the door on the Aug. 23 conference day.
"The farm bill has come to represent a 'safety net' for farmers," says Robert Pritz, Taylor County AgriLife Extension Agent, of Abilene. "The 2012 Farm Bill has faced a number of challenges. These challenges and how they will affect Big Country wheat producers will be a key part of this year's Big Country Wheat Conference. We've purposely placed the topic later in the day to allow plenty of time for discussion."
Along with the emphasis on the Farm Bill, Pritz says this year's conference also will include the following topics and presenters:
--"World Wheat Outlook and Wheat Marketing Strategies," by Dr. Kim Anderson, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service economist, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater
--"Wheat Variety and Disease Summary," Dr. Travis Miller, AgriLife Extension agronomist, College Station
--"Forage Production and Weed Management," Dr. David Drake, AgriLife Extension agronomist, San Angelo
--"Soil Fertility Management for Wheat Production," Dr. Mark McFarland, AgriLife Extension soil fertility specialist, College Station
--"Electrical Conductivity Mapping for Nutrient Management," Cliff Kinnibrugh, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, conservation agronomist, San Angelo
--"Insect Management Strategies in Small Grains," Dr. Allen Knutson, AgriLife Extension entomologist, Dallas
--"Cost of Production—Factors to Consider," Bill Thompson, AgriLife Extension economist, San Angelo
--"Farm Bill and Other issues Important to Wheat Producers," Kody Bessent, Texas Wheat Producers Board, Amarillo.
--"Short and Long-term Weather Forecasts," Steve Lyons, National Weather Service, San Angelo
Three Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units—two in general and one in integrated pest management—will be available for private pesticide applicator license holders.
For more information and to preregister, you can call the Texas AgriLife Extension office in Taylor County at 325-672-6048.