In recent years South Texas farmers have started to take a closer look at the cost of tillage operations and how they might reduce the number of trips across their field.

Rising fuel costs that have hit the country this spring are also hurting the bottom line of farming operations across Texas. Steel prices have also risen sharply during the first half of this year. That has driven up the cost of farm equipment and new tractors. Deep plowing has a very high horsepower requirement and is one of the most expensive operations that occur on a farm. This practice is done to help the soil capture as much rainfall as possible during the fall and winter months. Capturing and conserving soil moisture improves the chances for a good crop next season.

Working with USDA

To take a closer look at issues related to tillage and the cost of land preparation, county Extension agents in the area have been working with the USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service to plan the South Texas Tillage Strategies Conference that has been scheduled for Oct. 5.

The event will be held at the Northway Coliseum in Kingsville, Texas. Morning session will be devoted to presentations on managing compaction and reduced tillage options. Highlighting the morning session will be a panel of farmers who will share conservation tillage successes from their farming operations along the Texas Gulf Coast.

After lunch, tours will be conducted to farms where conservation tillage equipment will be demonstrated and fallow land management practices will be discussed by farmers.

If you are involved in farming please mark this date on your calendar and plan to attend. Additional details and information on registration for this conference can be obtained by contacting the Kleberg, Nueces and San Patricio county Extension agents - agriculture.