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Janet Laminack: Field days then and now

Take part in a bit of Denton County agriculture and economic history this week.

Texas Agricultural Experi­ment Station No. 6 was located in Denton from 1910 until 1972 and is receiving an official Texas Historical Marker at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The ceremony will be at Masch Branch Road and Hampton Road, across the street from the Denton County Road and Bridge West Facility on Masch Branch.

These experiment stations improved agriculture through scientific research. Denton’s Station No. 6 focused on grains that farmers were growing in the area by improving resistance to disease and weather.

Much of the research from the station was on developing new varieties of small grains such as wheat, oats and barley. But many best-management practices in agriculture were also demonstrated through “field days” with up to 2,000 people attending. Field days at Station No. 6 included a barbecue lunch sponsored by the Denton Chamber of Com­merce, presentations by Ex­ten­sion Service specialists and visits to the test plots at the station.

Even today, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service uses field days to educate the public — there’s one in Wise County this week. Pecan Field Day, an all-day workshop, will be offered Thursday in Decatur.

Pecans are a valuable horticultural crop in Texas and they do well in our area. If you have been considering starting a pecan orchard, currently have one or are interested in improving the management of a native pecan orchard, you will be interested in the Pecan Field Day. The $15 cost includes a chili lunch and 3 continuing education units.

Monte Nesbitt and Bill Ree, AgriLife Extension program specialists, along with Charles Rohla, a pecan specialist from the Noble Foundation, are the featured speakers.

This field day will cover how to prevent and control insects and disease through the integrated pest management approach for native and improved variety pecans. There will be a demonstration on the correct methods for training and pruning pecans.

Participants will also learn how to develop a young orchard through proper nutrition and irrigation. In native pecan management, you will learn how to assess trees for thinning and removal for the health of the orchard.

For more information or to reserve your spot, call the Wise County Extension office at 940-627-3341.

And another great Extension educational offering happening this week is the Master Gar­den­er-taught class “Vegeta­ble Gardening for Fun and Food.” This class is at 7 p.m. Wednes­day at the Flower Mound Public Library, 3030 Broad­moor Lane. To register for this free class, call 972-874-6165.

JANET LAMINACK is the horticulture county extension agent with Texas AgriLife Extension. She can be reached at 940-349-2883. Her e-mail address is