Developed by Jared Ripple, Extension Agent-IPM, Williamson and Milam Counties
Relevance: With over 150,000 acres of crop land in Williamson County, crop production not only accounts for a significant portion of the local economy, but also contributes to the state and national economies. Agricultural crops in Williamson County include corn, cotton, grain sorghum, wheat, oats, and hay. In 2009, the combined value of these crops was approximately $21,368,353. People often underestimate the factors that go into producing a crop, much less making it profitable. Some of these factors are out of our hands, like weather conditions and rainfall, while others we are able to manipulate to make the most out of a piece of crop land. For most farmers, crop production is their entire livelihood, so it is extremely important that they make management decisions that will maximize their profit while minimizing any lasting negative effects to their land and to the environment. In addition to the Agent, the Williamson County Crop Management Committee plays an integral part in the direction and implementation of this Crop Production Program. The Crop Management Committee helped in identifying issues that are important to producers and agribusinesses within the county and the educational methods that would make the biggest impact on the lives of these producers and businesses.
Response: The Crop Production Program aims to educate producers to make the best management decisions for their farm land. The following educational methods were utilized to address issues that have been identified by the Crop Management Committee during our semi annual meetings:
• IPM Blog (14 posts, 710 visits)
• Corn Variety Trial (March-August)
• Cotton Variety Trial (April-September)
• Small Grains Tour (April)
• Stiles Farm Field Day (June)
• Milam County Crops Tour (June)
• Williamson County Crops Tour (June)
• Aflaguard Trials for Aflatoxin Management (8 trials)
• Blackland Crops Clinic (October)
Results: In order to determine programmatic results of the Crop Production Program, a post-only evaluation instrument was administered to participants following the Blackland Crops Clinic in October. A total of 37 of 37 (100%) returned completed instruments. The results are below:
Likelihood to Adopt
The first section focused on likelihood to adopt practices and technologies discussed at the Clinic. The results are as follows.
• Participants had a 76% likelihood to adopt the Cotton Variety Trial Results.
• Participants had a 79% likelihood to adopt Cotton Stalk Destruction practices.
• Participants had an 84% likelihood to adopt Feral Hog Management practices.
• Participants had an 82% likelihood to adopt Weed Control practices.
• Participants had a 76% likelihood to adopt Herbicide Tolerant Sorghum.
• Participants had an 83% likelihood to adopt Herbicide Resistant Weed management practices.
• Participants had a 67% likelihood to adopt Aflaguard for aflatoxin control.
• Participants had a 77% likelihood to adopt Cotton Root Rot Control practices.
The last section focused on overall satisfaction of the Clinic. The results are as follows.
• 19% of participants gave an “excellent” rating for the program overall.
• 81% of participants gave a “good” rating for the program overall.
• Participants were 93% satisfied with the facilities and location.
• Participants were 83% satisfied with the overall organization.
• Participants were 66% satisfied with the promotion for the event.
• Participants were 88% satisfied with the cost of the event.
• Participants were 91% satisfied with the quality of information.
Summary of Results: Results indicate that the Crop Production Program met its objective to increase adoption of best management practices and new technologies by producers in Williamson County. The high likelihood for adoption of topics discussed at the programs shows the importance and impact of quality Extension programming.
Acknowledgements: Special thanks to the following Specialists and experts for presenting at these activities: Dr. Gaylon Morgan, Dr. Jim Cathey, Dr. Paul Baumann, Dr. Thomas Isakeit, Dr. Richard Haney, and Dr. Robert Duncan. Also, a special thanks to the Williamson County Crop Management Committee for their time and effort in planning and implementing these activities. Also, thanks to all of the chemical and seed company representatives who helped with programs and result demonstrations and for their continued support and sponsorship of our educational programs.
Future Program Actions: Based on the results of this program and feedback from participants, the Crop Management Committee will continue to plan and provide activities around issues that are most important to the livelihood of the producers in Williamson County.