Farmers, ranchers, industry representatives and others with vested interests in Texas and Southwest agriculture have a treasure trove of information available at the annual Texas Plant Protection Association Conference, scheduled December 6 and 7 at the Brazos Center in Bryan, Texas.

The two-day conference covers most every aspect of Southwest agriculture—the major commodities, including cotton, corn, rice, grain sorghum, wheat, soybean, fruits and vegetables—along with cattle and forage production. The conference also offers an industry expo where ag companies display the latest in equipment, services and technology.

Also, folks who need to pick up continuing education units have an opportunity to earn as many as 10.5 CEUs for CCA credit. Texas Department of Agriculture CEUs are pending, organizers say, but in 2011 the conference offered 9.0 CEU credits.

Gaylon Morgan, Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Service State Extension cotton specialist, says the annual conference provides information for the critical issues facing Texas agriculture.

“The Texas Plant Protection Conference provides producers, crop protection and seed companies representatives, research, and Extension folks solid information on a variety of agricultural related topics,” Morgan said.  “The planning process of the TPPC makes it unique for South and Central Texas because industry, consultants, Extension, and research folks meet to discuss and identify the most critical issues facing the agricultural industries in Texas and beyond.”

Morgan said the planning committee seeks the best speakers to present and discuss critical topics.  “The conference consistently has topics on the most current issues, new technologies, and forthcoming technologies for row crops (cotton, corn, sorghum, wheat, rice, and soybean), pasture, turf, and horticulture.  Additionally, the General Session includes presentations on overarching topics and has included speakers from across the U.S.”

This year’s general session will include International Trade Impact on Texas Agriculture, Ag Communications Now and In The Future, Preparing the Next Generation of Ag Professionals, Update of the New Farm Bill, and Environmentally Responsible Solutions to Crop Protection Product Container Disposal Problems.

Farmers and ranchers can find specific information on the crops and enterprises that most interest them. “The various commodity-specific sessions provide attendees an opportunity to learn from the leading scientists and industry leaders on a diversity of important topics,” Morgan said.  “One of the most popular session is “New Technology,” where many of the crop protection and seed companies present information on recent developments and new products entering the market in pasture, row crops, turf, and horticulture.  Additionally, over 20 posters will be on display covering a wide array of topics for attendees to view and discuss.”          

The Cotton Session is always well attended, Morgan said, and will feature two sessions again this year, including Cotton Genetics and Cotton Crop Protection.  The genetics session will feature a summary of the cotton variety trials results, presented by Dr. Dan Fromme. Phytogen, Deltapine, and Bayer will offer presentations on the latest varieties and technology traits. 

“In the crop protection session, several innovative presentations will be given on TopGuard for managing cotton root rot; the latest development in insect management research; harvest-aid updates; and weed management options for glyphosate resistant weeds in Texas.  The other sessions will include topics of importance within their given commodity.”

From an industry perspective, Doug Pustejovsky, territory sales manager for Monsanto in Abbott, Texas, says the annual conference offers real-world perspectives to farmers and ranchers.

“Year after year the information shared at the Texas Plant Protection Conference illustrates how producers currently deal with real world production problems ranging from weed resistance, water restrictions, fertility and crop marketing to other issues facing production agriculture,”Pustejovsky said. “This conference continues to be the best in the state and provides the most up-to-date information relating to sustainable agricultural in a collaborative effort from industry, university, Extension and state personnel.”

“As a Board Member of the Texas Plant Protection Association, member of Texas A&M AgriLife, and owner of a farm, I see TPPA’s strength as serving as the intersection of research and Extension, the private sector through companies serving agriculture, and our farmers that produce the food and fiber essential to the nation and our rural economies,” says Ronald Lacewell, Texas AgriLife Office of Federal Relations.

“Through the annual meeting, participants gain insight on the implications of agriculture policy with marketing tools; they are presented with the latest technology in equipment and production chemicals; and they are provided results of production and economics of alternative farming systems,” Lacewell said.

“Combine this with the opportunity for interacting with the students doing much of the research, and one can see a very promising future for Texas Agriculture.’

Lacewell says in a time of great uncertainty and risk facing agriculture, “TPPA plays a strong role in helping Texas agriculture stay competitive in this global economy.”

Morgan says the conference “offers an opportunity for producers, consultants, and others to see the latest technologies by the companies and visit with the companies one-on-one at the exhibits.”

Southwest Farm Pressis a co-sponsor of the annual conference.

Registration is available by check or credit card. Early registration is requested to assist in planning and those registering before November 16, 2012, receive a discount.

To register for the conference:

Register on line with your credit card for $85.00 by November 16th. 

http://tppa.tamu.edu/conferences/2012/pay_online/orderform.htm