This year, the Delta Research and Extension Center (DREC) in Stoneville, Miss., is switching things up a bit. Instead of a single field day, the major research facility will hold two. Corn and soybeans will be covered on July 19 with rice set for July 31.

“We used to have one field day that covered all crops, usually indoors,” says Steve Martin, DREC head. “A lot of producers asked to go back to the field even though it’s so hot.

“We’ll open the doors at 2 p.m. and tours will begin at 3:30 p.m. There will be booths, posters and other things set up for folks to browse through. Equipment manufacturers will have some of their products here and be on hand to answer questions.”

Bubba Simmons III, Delta Council vice president who farms about four miles east of Arcola, Miss., says “We had feedback from a group of growers and allied ag industry representatives that met late winter/early spring this year. The group discussed the field day and what we could do to get more farmers to attend. The consensus was that it would be good to split the field day into corn and soybeans one day (July 19) and rice a second day (July 31).

“We thought the afternoon timeframe would be better for growers than early morning and ending at noon. It’s very important for growers in the Delta to come to Stoneville to see the scientists’ research, learn new techniques and information and see their check-off dollars at work.”

As for what soybean/corn topics speakers will cover, Martin says “entomology issues are on the agenda although the majority of topics will be on disease, weed control and irrigation/fertility.”

Martin says the July 31 rice field day will handle many “of the same sorts of topics. But we’ll also have stops that cover our rice breeding programs. That’ll show off the varieties that we’re developing as well as other varieties in our trials. Milo Hamilton will also speak on rice markets.”

Simmons is pleased that weed control will be covered. “We’re tackling weed resistance with a pre-emerge herbicide program. Most growers are aware of the problem now and are concerned about it.

“Soybeans are costing us more money every year – particularly this year – to produce. Resistant pigweeds are everywhere. That’s a big change from just a few years ago.”

Following the July 19 field tours, attendees will end up at the Delta Council building for a reception/dinner where there will be door prizes and entertainment.

Note:To be eligible for the door prizes, you need to pre-register for the field day. The registration form can be accessed here.

“Because we’re changing the field days up, we really don’t know how many people will attend,” says Martin. “That’s why we’re encouraging people to pre-register, which will make them eligible for the door prizes (which include several firearms). Of course, if you don’t pre-register you’re still more than welcome to come. But we’d like to have a preliminary headcount to make sure we have enough wagons set up, food, beverages and all the rest.”

Continuing education units are available for certified crop advisors at the field days.

The July 19 field day will be preceded by a joint meeting of the Delta Council Ginning and Cotton Quality Committee and Southern Cotton Ginners. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. and include reports on transportation enforcement, market outlook, wage and labor, the 2012 farm bill, and ginning research.