Coastal REC field day to feature conventional and sustainable agricultural research
CHARLESTON – Two tours, featuring sustainable and conventional agricultural research projects, will be offered during this year’s June 6 field day at the Clemson Coastal Research and Education Center.
The field day will kick off at 8:30 a.m. at the Clemson University Coastal Research and Education Center, 2865 Savannah Highway, Charleston, S.C. 29414. Activities will end about 4 p.m.
Zack Snipes, Clemson horticulture agent for Charleston and Beaufort counties, said this year’s field day participants can choose between a tour where they will learn about sustainable agricultural practices and a tour that will showcase conventional agricultural practices.
“Because of the diversity of growers we have, we will offer an option for those coming to the field day,” Snipes said. “They can go on either the Sustainable Tour or the Conventional Tour. Whichever tour growers decide to take, they can be assured they will learn valuable information to use to improve their operations.”
Participants will board trailers, pulled by tractors, to take the tours. The first stop on the Sustainable Tour will be at the Grow Room where Richard Hassell, vegetable Extension specialist, will talk about how growers can grow healthy transplants.
“The Grow Room is an indoor facility where plants are grown in ideal light and temperature,” Hassell said. “I will talk about how to use this method to grow watermelon transplants.”
From the Grow Room, participants on the Sustainable Tour will travel to master’s student and graduate research assistant Danielle Lewis’s stop to hear about no-till tomato production. The Sustainable Tour also includes a stop where Matt Cutulle, vegetable weed scientist, will talk about his garden of weeds. Cutulle’s garden has about 20 different weeds growing in pots. The garden is used for proper weed identification, as well as showing how to use robot weeders and roller crimpers to remove weeds from gardens and fields. Other stops on the Sustainable Tour include the Entomology Lab, where participants will learn how soil health impacts pest control. Tony Keinath, plant pathologist, will talk about fusarium wilt and root knot nematode management techniques, and Gabriel Rennenbarger, doctoral student and graduate research assistant, will wrap up the Sustainable Tour with a melon disease forecast and updates.
The first stop on the Conventional Tour features Cutulle giving a corn and rice herbicide demonstration. From there, participants will travel to a stop where Sean Toporek, graduate research assistant, talks about pythium management in cucurbits — plants in the gourd family, including melons, pumpkins, squash and cucumbers. Conventional Tour participants also will stop at the Entomology Lab to hear about spider mites resistance and management. Next, they will learn about cultivar and chemical management of fusarium wilt of watermelon at Tony Keinath’s stop. The last two stops on the Conventional Tour include a stop where Cutulle will demonstrate using robots in gardens to remove weeds and a stop where Hassell will talk about melon grafting for yield and disease management.
In addition to tours of the Coastal Research and Education Center Farm, participants also will tour United States Department of Agriculture research fields. Lunch will be provided.
Pesticide applicators qualify for continuing certification credits by attending this field day.
This field day is free to the public, but space is limited, and pre-registration is requested. To register, go to http://bit.ly/CoastalRECFieldDay. For more information, contact Zack Snipes at 864-934-7922 or firstname.lastname@example.org.