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DeWitt County crops one hot topic

With a tropical disturbance churning miles away in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 200+Yorktown and area farmers and ranchers gathered in the sweltering, hot afternoon South Texas sun to check out rows of maize and corn - - as well as a drone -- during the 2017 DeWitt County Row Crops Tour held on Tuesday, June 20, in Yorktown.

DeWitt County Extension Agent Anthony Netardus welcomed the crowd under the shade of the City Park pavilion at the beginning of the tour. Netardus noted it was his 22nd year of being with the tour, stating “I’ve been with the same truck on the same route for 17 years.”

First stop on the tour was the grain sorghum hybrid test plot at the Joseph Respondek farm located right outside of Nordheim, followed by a stop at the Ben Hahn farm for a drone demonstration by Goliad County Ag Extension Agent Brian Yanta. The third stop was at the corn hybrid test plot at the Fred and Chad Hahn farm.

The tour concluded at Gruenau Hall, with presentations including Farm Service Agency updates by DeWitt FSA Director Grady Kelley; Natural Resource Conservation Service updates by DeWitt NRCS Director Wynn Whitworth; using drones in agricultural operations and practices by Yanta; and reducing farm and ranch theft by DeWitt County Sheriff Carl Bowen. A sausage supper concluded the evening.

Speakers during the afternoon’s tour event featured Dr. Josh McGinty, AgriLife Extension Agronomist; and Dr. Robert Bowling, AgriLife Extension Entomologist. Also on hand for the tour was long-time crops tour speaker, entomologist Dr. Roy Parker. Netardus introduced Dr. Parker stating, “He has been with the tour for like 100 years.”

Crops committee members are Carroll Blank, chairman; Carl Blank; Michael Chumchal; Ben Hahn; Chad Hahn and Joseph Respondek.

Sponsors for the Crops Tour were First National Bank of Beeville-Yorktown; Citizens Bank; Cuero National Bank; Trust Texas Bank; Yoakum National Bank; Prosperity Bank; Bayer - Crop Science; Monsanto Company; Matlock & Associates (Edna);Yorktown Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture, Inc. and DeWitt County Soil and Water Conservation District.

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