January will be a busy month for ag producers as they prepare for the annual Upper Gulf Coast Grain Handlers Conference, Western Rice Belt Production Conference and Upper Gulf Coast Feed Grain and Cotton Conference, which will be held on Jan. 14, 15 and 23, respectively.
Hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office and other organizations, the three conferences will contain multiple presentations on current ag issues.
Topics at the grain handlers conference include grain bin safety, phosphine management and several speeches on pesticides.
For the rice belt event, speakers will discuss Auxin herbicide application on rice, insect management and conservation programs, among other topics.
“Ultimately, our goal was to identify how we can better educate our farmers about these conservation programs,” Extension Agent Corrie Bowen said. “If our rice production conference has a theme this year, it would be Conservation Programs for Working Lands.”
Feed grain and cotton presenters will speak on topics including weed control, gene drive technology and emerging cotton diseases.
Speakers and topics at each event were selected by local area committees Grain Handlers Task Force, Wharton County Row Crops Committee and the Western Rice Belt Planning Committee.
“Identifying local issues and needs through local leadership helps Extension to focus and validate our education and research on current needs,” Bowen said.
At the rice belt event, the annual Local Working Group meeting will be held by the Wharton County Soil and Water Conservation District and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The meeting will begin at 2 p.m. and input from attendees will be collected.
“Input allows a LWG to identify and prioritize a county’s resource concerns that need to be addressed through eligible Farm Bill conservation practices and also aids in establishing ranking criteria for county-based funding,” Bowen said.
Registration for the grain handlers conference opens at 7:30 a.m. and the event ends at 3 p.m. For the rice belt event, registration opens at 8 a.m. and the conference ends at 2 p.m. The feed grain and cotton event’s registration opens at 8 a.m. and the final speaker starts at 1:15 p.m.
The grain handlers and rice belt events will be held at the El Campo Civic Center, 2350 N. Mechanic, and the feed grain and cotton event will be at Crescent Hall at the Wharton County Fairgrounds, 6036 FM 961.