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NMSU Agricultural Science Center at Farmington hosts field day

FARMINGTON - Since the mid-1980s grapes have been grown at the New Mexico State University Agricultural Science Center in Farmington. And on Friday, July 11, visitors to the center's field day events will learn about the re-established research of table and wine grapes that will grow in the San Juan Basin.



Grape plants that NMSU horticulturalist Kevin Lombard nurtured in the greenhouse are now in the ground and ready for visitors to the NMSU Agricultural Science Center at Farmington to view in the recently established research vineyard. The 2008 field day will be held Friday, July 11. Registration is at 8:30 a.m. and tours begin at 9:30 a.m. A free barbeque lunch will be served at noon. (NMSU Photo by Jane Moorman)

"The goal of this research is to look at various types of grapes and see which will grow in this area," said Mick O'Neill, NMSU associate professor and the agricultural science center's superintendent. "We presume grapes will do well here because climatic and soil conditions here are very similar to the Yakima Valley in Washington state, and they have very good productions. Also, the conditions are nearly the same as Grand Junction, Colo., were grapes are doing well. The fluctuation between day and night temperatures here are greater than in Grand Junction, and grapes really like that climatic situation."

NMSU hired horticulturalist Kevin Lombard in 2007 to conduct grape research that will evaluate various varieties, root stock and grafted material.

The 2008 field day will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. and tours will start at 9:30 a.m. A barbeque lunch will be served at noon. Admission is free.

The grape vineyard will be the first stop on the tour. Other research that will be viewed and discussed includes herbicide application to native grasses, corn, dry beans, sunflowers and alfalfa; drip-irrigated hybrid poplar trees, oil seed crops for biodiesel production, variety trials of small grains, alfalfa, and grain and forage corn varieties; and gravity-fed drip irrigation of vegetable gardens, and the xeriscape demonstration garden.

Special guests to the field day include State Rep. Ray Begaye, D-Dist. 1 San Juan County; State Sen. William Sharer, R-Dist. 1 San Juan County; State Sen. Steven Neville, R-Dist. 2 San Juan County; Dr. Steven Loring, assistant director of NMSU's Agricultural Experiment Stations; and Dr. Greg Mullins, NMSU College of Agriculture and Home Economics plant and environmental science department head.

The event is sponsored by NMSU Agriculture Science Center - Farmington's advisory board, NMSU Agriculture Science Centers, NMSU Cooperative Extension Service and the Farmington Chamber of Commerce agricultural committee.

To get to the agriculture science center, take NM 371 south from Farmington to Navajo Road 3003, just south of the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry headquarters. Travel west to the NMSU agriculture science center sign at Navajo Road 4063 and then north three miles. For more information visit the science center's website at http://cahe.nmsu.edu/aes/farm/documents/2008-field-day-brochure-pdf.pdf