Farmers Learn About New Technologies at Southwest Crops Conference - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/1/03

Farmers Learn About New Technologies at Southwest Crops Conference

Most of us are all ears when it comes to hearing ways to save money, especially, our hard working West Texas farmers. Cutting costs in a tough market is just one of the many ag subjects farmers discussed this week at the Fifth Annual Southwest Crops Conference and Expo.

It's a new growing season for West Texas farmers. They have less than two months left to plan and prepare what they're going to grow and how much. At this year's Southwest Crops Conference, hundreds of farmers are taking advantage of free advice.

"It's done each year for producers so they can see new technologies that are coming their way and think of new strategies during this tough time for producers," says Mark Brown with the Texas A&M Extension Service.

It's tough times that has farmers like Mike Henson scrambling to find new ways to save money.

"Farmers are gonna have to learn and manage their crops, manage their water. They're just gonna have to be real good businessmen in order to stay in business," says Ropesville farmer, Mike Henson.

It's advice that never changes from year to year, but with a new farm bill in place, Ron Smith, Editor of Southwest Farm Press, says farmers need to put helpful advice they receive here to good use now more than ever.

"We try to do something late in the winter to give farmers in the area, mainly the high plains, a chance to get some of the latest production techniques, marketing information, so they can make decisions on planting acreage," says Smith.

That planting acreage decision is a big one. Farmers have until April 1st to update base and yield information. If they don't, they will be forced to use old estimates from previous years that can end up costing them thousands of dollars depending on their individual situation. Farmers need to make an appointment with their local farm service agency office to update their information.

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