Texas farmers and ranchers have ample opportunities over the next few months to pick up the latest information on crop management, products and issues. Attendees also have opportunities to earn CEUs to keep pesticide applicator licenses current.

Below are some of the many opportunities available in coming weeks and months.

Jan. 16—The 20th Cotton and Grain Pre-Plant Conference will be held Jan. 16 at the Sam Sparks Auditorium at Rio Farms in Monte Alto.

Rio Farms is located at 25601 Farm-to-Market 88, some 10 miles north of Expressway 83 in Weslaco.

Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the program begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m.

“With December rains of about 4 inches for most of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, an improved subsoil moisture is providing growers with more optimism about planting cotton and/or grain sorghum this year,” said Brad Cowan, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent for Hidalgo County.

“But there are always other issues to consider before making planting decisions, so this conference is designed to provide growers with research-based information that could help,” he said.

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Texas Department of Agriculture and Certified Crops Advisers continuing education units will be available.

Topics and speakers include:

  • Rio Grande Valley Boll Weevil Eradication Program; Progress Made, Challenges Ahead; Larry Smith, program director, Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation, Abilene.
  • Beltwide Proposal to Assist the Valley with Boll Weevil Eradication; Dr. Don Parker, integrated pest management coordinator, National Cotton Council, Memphis.
  • Cotton Varieties for the Valley for 2014; Dr. Gaylon Morgan, AgriLife Extension agronomist, College Station.
  • Chemical Treatment of Cotton; Dr. Greta Schuster, AgriLife Extension pathologist, Kingsville, and Jacob Pekar, graduate student, Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
  • Cotton Market Outlook for 2014; Dr. John Robinson, AgriLife Extension economist, College Station.
  • Grain Sorghum Market Outlook for 2014; Dr. Mark Welch, AgriLife Extension economist, College Station.
  • A New Threat? Sugarcane/Sorghum Aphid; Dr. Raul Villanueva, AgriLife Extension entomologist, Weslaco, and Danielle Sekula, AgriLife Extension integrated pest management agent, Weslaco.
  • RGV Soil Testing Campaign; Ashley Gregory, AgriLife Extension assistant, Weslaco.
  • New Developments from Industry; various industry representatives.

For more information contact Cowan at 956-383-1026, Dr. Enrique Perez, AgriLife Extension agent for Cameron County at 956-361-8236, or Omar Gonzalez, AgriLife Extension agent for Willacy County at 956-689-2412