Delaware Ag Week draws record numbers

January 24, 2014 under Cooperative Extension

Delaware Ag Week draws record crowdsA successful Delaware Agriculture Week, held from January 13-17, attracted record attendance at the Delaware State Fairgrounds, home to the event for the past nine years.

An estimated 1900 visitors, up from 1700 last year, drove to Harrington to attend their choice of 97 sessions offered on a variety of topics crucial to Delaware agriculture. Topics included poultry, equine, nutrient management, fresh market fruits and vegetables, production crops, irrigation, forestry, horticulture, safety, ACA health insurance, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), weed and disease control in agronomic crops. Additional presentations covered equine, small ruminants and beef cattle.

‘Ag Week’ as it is known in the First State is planned in collaboration with the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, Delaware State University Cooperative Extension and the Delaware Department of Agriculture. In addition to invited experts from around the country, more than 30 sessions were taught by experts from the University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and college staff served as session moderators.

Cory Whaley, Sussex County agriculture Extension agent and chair of the Delaware Ag Week Planning Committee, was pleased with the number of people who attended and the 81 vendor exhibits offered during the week.

“Ag Week is great event where the ag community can come together for continuing education, to catch up with friends, and talk with local vendors,” said Whaley. “Much of the success of Ag Week can be attributed to the individual session chairs who identify topics that are relevant and timely and then match these topics with expert speakers from our area and from across the country.”  A complete listing of this year’s program sponsors and exhibitors is available on the Delaware Ag Week website.

Michelle Rodgers, associate dean and director of UD Cooperative Extension, attended many of the sessions throughout Delaware Agriculture Week. Rodgers commended her Extension colleague’s efforts and teamwork for developing an event that positively impacts the agricultural community. “Hat’s off to the entire team for an excellent Ag Week.” Rodgers said. “We have had record crowds as well as top-notch speakers from Delaware and across the country. Feedback has been very positive,” Rodgers said, adding that attendees especially voiced appreciation on hearing the current research, the breadth of topics offered, and a venue to network with others in the agriculture sector.

Ed Kee, Delaware Secretary of Agriculture, thanked everyone who organized Delaware Ag Week. “We are really connecting. Good job to all the farmers and industry people who participated,” Kee said.

During Delaware Ag Week attendees were able to earn nutrient management, pesticide and certified crop advisor continuing education credits.

It was the first Ag Week for Nathan Kleczewski, UD Extension plant pathology specialist, who was hired in May 2013.  Along with Dan Egel and Shubin Saha, colleagues from Purdue, Kleczewski felt the collaborative nature of the sessions gave other experts the opportunity to share their research and expertise. “It gives growers an outside perspective and builds collaborations,” said Kleczewski.

Kleczewski was pleased to see 250 people attend the high tunnel and agronomy sessions and received positive feedback. “It was a great way to introduce myself to many people and now that they have a face to put to the name, I expect to receive more calls during the course of the growing season,” Kleczewski said.

A new exhibition for 2014 was the Hazards of Flowing Grain demonstration. Mike Love, agriculture safety Extension agent, coordinated the presentations, equipment and resources. Twice a day, Love conducted a workshop on the dangers of grain entrapment and rescue best practices via a mobile unit developed to scale by Penn State.

“An individual entering a grain silo can be entrapped in seconds,” Love said. Attempts to move can bury the victim deeper in the grain. Love illustrated the physics behind grain movement within silo storage, explaining how a 165-pound individual effectively becomes 300 pounds when the grain reaches waist level. Love emphasized that knowing how to safely respond is critical. The exhibit was enthusiastically received and plans to feature it during the Delaware State Fair in July are being discussed.

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings during Ag Week, Love conducted Grain Rescue workshops at the Quillen Arena where first responders utilized best practices for the unique rescue challenge inside a full sized silo mock-up on loan from Perdue Agribusiness Grain Emergency Response Team. More than 100 first responders from Delaware attended and worked in teams as they entrapped a volunteer and practiced the rescue techniques and equipment. “The grain rescue workshops were offered to first responders and farmers so they may learn the characteristics of flowing grain, the causes and best practices for rescue,” Love said.

Philip Russell, 1st Assistant Chief of the Magnolia Volunteer Fire Department attended the training Thursday night and found the experience extremely valuable. “This was an eye opener for us. We need to make sure we have the right equipment to make the proper rescue.”  Russell said.

Robbie Roe, Russell’s colleague, volunteered as a victim and agreed the training was necessary. “It would be the worst way to die known to man,” Roe exclaimed. “I couldn’t breathe.” Fortunately, their fire department has not been called out to a grain entrapment, but Roe was grateful for the opportunity to become better prepared. “We have silos in our district we never had before. This [training] is what we need to do.”

Held in January every year, the 2014 event was an opportunity for Rodgers and her Extension colleagues to mark Cooperative Extension’s 100th year of providing research-based information to the public.

Click here for additional photos of Delaware Ag Week

Article by Michele Walfred

Photos: Michele Walfred, Cory Whaley, and Heather Baker

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University of Delaware to hold Irrigation Field Day

September 7, 2012 under Cooperative Extension

The University of Delaware Irrigation Program invites farmers, industry and the general public to tour UD’s Warrington Irrigation Research Farm on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 9:00 a.m. UD Irrigation Engineer James Adkins along with Sussex County Agent Cory Whaley and Kent County Agent Phillip Sylvester will present the following:

  • First year experiences with Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI)
    Tour the newly installed 42 zone SDI research facility and discuss the potential of SDI to irrigate previously uneconomical fields. Join in a candid discussion of the benefits and challenges of SDI in sandy soils and the nuances every farmer should consider before installation.
  • The Potential for Variable Rate Center Pivot Irrigation (VRI)
    Discuss the feasibility, practicality and affordability of VRI as a tool to improve irrigation management in highly variable fields. View a demonstration of the UD 4 tower VRI system and the potential applications of VRI technology outside of irrigation research.
  • Soil Moisture Monitoring as a Tool to Refine Irrigation Management
    View many of the various options to monitor soil moisture levels with a discussion of the pros and cons of each option.
  • Irrigated Corn, Full Season and Double Soybean Irrigation Research Plots
    Discuss the preliminary results of multiyear irrigation research to improve the yields of irrigated agronomic crops.

Directions: University of Delaware Warrington Irrigation Research Farm is located at the corners of Route 5 and Delaware 290 (Cool Spring Road and Hurdle Ditch Road) just 4 miles south of Harbeson. Signs will be posted.

For more information contact: Karen Adams at 302-856-2585 ext. 540.

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Summer Soybean Tour for Delaware Soybean Farmers

August 9, 2012 under Cooperative Extension

Delaware soybean farmers and farm managers can get the latest soybean production updates by attending Delaware’s Soybean Field Day on August 22. The event will highlight research at two University of Delaware farms.

The Delaware Soybean Board, national soy checkoff and the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension invite soybean farmers in Delaware to attend this free event. The tour starts at noon with a complimentary lunch at the University of Delaware’s Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center (REC).

Lunch includes welcoming remarks from Kevin Evans, Chairman, Delaware Soybean Board; Ed Kee, Delaware Department of Agriculture Secretary; Mark Isaacs, Ph.D., Director of Carvel REC and Michelle Rodgers, Ph.D., Associate Dean, University of Delaware Extension.

Immediately following lunch, participants will split into two groups. One group will remain at Carvel REC while the other tours the Warrington Irrigation Research Farm. The groups will rotate at 3:30 p.m., allowing participants to experience each farm. Highlights of the tours will include new irrigated soybean research, as well as new information on insects, weeds and diseases. Certified Crop Advisor credits will be available.

“This will be a great opportunity for farmers to interact with soybean researchers and others involved in Delaware soybean production,” said Cory Whaley, agriculture extension agent at Carvel REC. “We hope to have a great day of education and fellowship.”

To view a complete agenda, visit http://sites.udel.edu/carvelnews/de-soybean-tour/.  Register by August 15, through Carvel REC by contacting Karen Adams at (302) 856-2585 or by email at adams@udel.edu, or through the Delaware Soybean Board by eFax at (302) 264-8638 or at www.desoybeans.org.

The 69 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.

For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit www.UnitedSoybean.org

Check out their facebook page at: www.facebook.com/UnitedSoybeanBoard

Follow them on Twitter: www.twitter.com/UnitedSoy

View their YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/UnitedSoybeanBoard

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2011 GAP/GHP Training Sessions Announced

February 18, 2011 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension, Events

University of Delaware Cooperative Extension will offer voluntary food safety Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) and Good Handling Practices (GH’s) training sessions for fruit and vegetable growers in 2011.

The training includes certification issued by the Delaware Department of Agriculture.

According to Gordon Johnson, extension specialist and assistant professor of plant and soil sciences, “For wholesale growers, this training certification program satisfies some wholesale buyer requirements that growers attend GAP/GHP training. For those expecting to go through an audit this year, this program will help you to know what is covered in an audit and how to develop your farm food safety plan.”

Smaller growers that do not market wholesale are also encouraged to become trained and learn about the best ways to keep produce safe from food borne pathogens.

Limited or no wholesale, mostly direct market growers will need to complete only 3 hours of training, while significant wholesale growers must attend 6 hours of training in order to receive certification.

Training sessions in 2011 include:

Kent County

Wholesale growers: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Thursday, March 3.

Small growers (limited or no wholesale): 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Monday, April 4.

Both sessions will take place at the Kent County Extension Office, UD Paradee Building, 69 Transportation Circle, Dover, DE 19901.

Call (302) 730-4000 to register, and contact Phillip Sylvester (phillip@udel.edu), Kent County cooperative extension agent, for more information.

Sussex County

Wholesale growers: This will be broken up into two sessions. Session 1 will take place 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Thursday, March 10 and Session 2 will take place 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Thursday, March 17.

Small growers (limited or no wholesale): 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Thursday, April 14.

All sessions will take place at the University of Delaware Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE 19947.

Call (302) 856-7303 to register or contact extension agents Tracy Wootten (wootten@udel.edu) or Cory Whaley (whaley@udel.edu) for more information.

New Castle County

Small growers (limited or no wholesale): 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Tuesday, April 26.

The session will be held at the New Castle County Extension Office, 461 Wyoming Road, Newark, DE , 19716

Call (302) 831-2506 to register or contact extension educator Maria Pippidis (pippidis@udel.edu) for more information.

Trainings are also sponsored by the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware.

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