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Field Day Offers Tours, Landscape Advice, Vineyard Workshop

LOS LUNAS - Grape growers, farmers and home gardeners can bring their curiosity, sick plants and questions about everything from alfalfa to Xeriscapes to an Aug. 18 field day at New Mexico State University's Agricultural Science Center at Los Lunas.

Mike English, superintendent of New Mexico State University's Agricultural Science Center at Los Lunas, prepares to lead a tour at last year's field day. This year's event will be Aug. 18. (08/12/2004) (NMSU Agricultural Communications Photo by J. Victor Espinoza)

"It's a chance to ask the experts and get your questions answered," said Mike English, superintendent at the Los Lunas center, located at 1036 Miller St. S.W. "I think it's a fun and informative day."

Special sessions will include tips on Xeriscaping, vineyard research, bosque restoration and a plant clinic. Registration begins at 8 a.m., followed by a welcome and tours on tractor-towed trailers at 8:30 a.m.

Mark Renz, a weed specialist with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service, will talk about pepper weed control. Extension agronomist Denise McWilliams will give an update on sorghum trials. Ron Walser, a fruit specialist at NMSU's Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde, will speak on grape research.

Wilt virus on tomato plants, which can be a serious challenge for Valencia County farmers, will be the topic for Scott Bundy, an NMSU assistant professor in entomology, plant pathology and weed science. Robert Flynn, an agronomist with NMSU's Agricultural Science Center at Artesia, will give an update on alfalfa trials.

Greg Fenchel, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, will report on bosque restoration technology. NRCS's Ed Romero and Danny Goodson will speak about blue grama grass varieties. Richard Montoya of NRCS will give the details of using giant sacaton windbreaks for safety reasons.

The USDA's Plant Materials Center is housed at Los Lunas.

At 10:30 a.m. a presentation will be given on growing native plants for xeriscaping. A clinic by the Valencia County master gardeners will continue through the day for people who wish to bring in plants for identification or problem solving.

A complimentary lunch at noon on the lawn will be followed by a vineyard soil and nutrient workshop, presented by Flynn and NMSU onion and chile physiology specialist Erin Silva. Participation is limited to 25. To register, contact Daniel Kim at dkim@nmsu.edu or (505) 642-1638.

For more information, or if you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the field day, please contact English at (505) 865-7340 or menglish@nmsu.edu in advance.