“Agricultural Technology, Biotechnology and the Environment” was the theme for the 2003 Texas Plant Protection Conference, held Dec. 2-3, at the Hilton Inn & Conference Center in College Station.

This conference provided all involved in crop production the opportunity to learn the latest information on new crop protection products, new technology, scientific advances and trends.

This year's conference opening session included addresses by Mack Gray, undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, John Barrett, a leading farmer from Mathis, Texas, Virgil Robinson, a senior marketing analyst with Pioneer Hi-Bred and Jarred Karnel, a crop systems specialist with John Deere.

In addition, the opening session was to feature a talk by Norman Borlaug, a Noble Peace Prize winner for his work with the Green Revolution. His work is credited with saving millions from starvation around the world. He is a supporter of new technology including biotechnology. He believes that without high-yielding crops and more efficient farming methods, that we would have to plow under millions of acres of woodlands- at a great cost to plants and wildlife.

This year's conference also included a special section co-sponsored by the Texas Association of Agricultural Consultants (TAAC) and the Texas Plant Protection Association (TPPA). This session featured a panel of leaders in industry, Extension, university, government and consultants that shared information on the “The Big Changes in Agriculture- How does it effect me?”

The balance of the agenda included over 50 presentations by agricultural research scientists profiling their latest findings. These presentations featured the most up-to-date information in Texas crop production. Program topics were divided into sections; cotton, grains, water management / fertility, new chemistry and minor use pesticides, pasture and rangeland and mycotoxins; and were presented by recognized experts in their respective fields.

Over 25 agribusinesses helped sponsor the conference and had displays where attendees were able to get information on their products and services.

CEU's were offered during the conference for Texas Department of Agriculture commercial pesticide applicator license. Also certified crop advisers could get up to 12 CEU's.