Wednesday, January 30, 2013

GMOs, cover crops and more at Ag Day Feb. 6

GMOs, cover crops and more at Ag Day Feb. 6 

Concerned about eating genetically modified crops?  How about having an herbicide genetically ingrained in our crops?  And how does minimum tillage work on our fields?

These and other topics will be discussed during the 34th Southeastern Arizona Annual Ag Day and Trade Show to be held Wednesday, Feb. 6.

“When I started in 1956, I grew 4,500 pounds of milo per acre. In 1972, I averaged 7,500 pounds because we had better seed. In 2002, when I last farmed, I had 15,000 pounds of corn on one circle because of better genetics. It comes down to how many people can you feed off of one acre,” Owen said.

Owen invited Dr. Jeffrey C. Silvertooth, associate dean of Education for Economic Development and Extension in the University of Arizona’s College of Ag and Life Science, to discuss the issue.

Silvertooth will discuss the need for sustainable agriculture systems, as the world’s growers try to meet the food needs for a growing population – expected to jump from 7.1 billion people now to 9.2 billion people in 2050 – as well as dealing with the challenge that most of the arable land and some of the marginal land on Earth has already been exploited. He added that only 11 percent of the earth’s surface is arable land, making agronomic factors (such as pest control (insects, weeds, and diseases) and plant nutrition) and natural resource management imperative in maintaining sustainable agriculture for the future.

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