Farmers find efficiency and profits at field day

By Tom Lollis

Agriculture Field Day Farmers found ways to cut costs and improve efficiencies in beef, cotton, soybean, peanut and vegetable production at the Edisto Research and Education Center fall field day in Blackville.
Beef producers learned how to extend pasture grazing by 90 days by overseeding Bermuda pastures with annual rye blended with Arrowleaf clover. Forage specialist John Andrae also recommended planting small grains such as wheat, oats and rye plus ryegrass to establish winter grazing.
Peanut producers learned a variety of methods to reduce input costs from Jay Chapin, peanut specialist. He demonstrated test plots that received no calcium other than residual soil levels. Other plots received reduced levels of fungicides. Others were planted with less expensive runner seeds instead of the larger Virginia type varieties. Yields and economic results will be announced at a statewide meeting in Orangeburg in January.
Clemson weed scientist Chris Main advised peanut growers to control the two toughest weeds (pigweed and sicklepod) by putting out Valor and Dual behind the planter and using Cadre later for small pigweed and 2,4DB for sicklepod.
Peanuts are one of the state’s recent success stories. Farmers have planted about 59,000 acres of peanuts this year, compared to around 11,000 acres four years ago. The field day also included demonstration plots for cotton, soybean, vegetables and melons, pest control strategies for transgenic cotton and a variable rate irrigation system.

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