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Field day slated for NMSU's Agricultural Science Center at Los Lunas

LOS LUNAS - For 50 years, Middle Rio Grande Valley farmers have gained valuable information from the research being done at New Mexico State University's Agricultural Science Center south of Los Lunas.


At a field day each year, area residents learn of the research being conducted at the center, which also houses the Natural Resources Conservation Service's Plant Materials Center.

During this year's golden anniversary celebration and field day on Wednesday, Aug. 15, visitors will see the changes being made at the center, including a tree fruit and berry variety study and vegetable garden irrigation study, introduced since Ron Walser, urban small farm Extension specialist, joined the staff.

Presentations during the field tours will include truck gardening by Stephanie Walker, Extension vegetable specialist; small vertebrate pest management by Jon Boren, Extension wildlife specialist; current status of the alfalfa weevil in New Mexico by Scott Bundy, NMSU associate professor of entomology, plant pathology and weed science; and production of wine grapes by Bernhard Maier, NMSU's viticulturist.

Presentations on NRCS Plant Materials Center research will include Grand Canyon blue gramma by Keith White, native grasses by Danny Goodson, vine mesquite selected ecovar (ecological varieties of wild plants) by Gregory Fenchel and native plant production by David Dreesen.

Visitors to the field day may bring samples of problem plants to the plant clinic that will be conducted all morning by Curtis Smith, horticulturist with NMSU's Extension Plant Sciences, and area Master Gardeners.

The free event begins at 8 a.m. with registration. Welcome addresses by Tom Place, the center's farm superintendent, and Fenchel, Plant Materials Center manager, will begin at 8:15 a.m. Keynote speaker for the day will be Gerald Chacon, associate vice provost for NMSU's Outreach Services. Lunch will be served at noon.