Agriculture tour

University of Missouri Hundley-Whaley Research Center Superintendent Jennifer Miller addresses attendees during the center’s annual Twilight Tour, which took place Aug. 28 on the Hundley-Whaley campus in Albany.

ALBANY, Mo. — Strong rainstorms dampened Director Jennifer Miller’s first Hundley-Whaley Research Center Twilight Tour, which, ironically enough, addressed the effects of this summer’s severe drought.

Miller, named the University of Missouri-operated ag center’s administrator in April, brought in a variety of speakers for the annual event, which took place Aug. 28 on the Hundley-Whaley campus in Albany.

Topics ranged from drought to pollinators.

“I know that the rain changed our schedule a little bit, but I want to thank all of our guests who stuck around and heard from our great speakers,” Miller said. “I thought the evening was a great success. Thanks to all who braved the weather.”

Tour wagons traveled across the center grounds for about an hour before heavy rain pushed speakers and attendees inside. The presentations were broken into three primary topics: drought impact in northwest Missouri, sustainable agriculture and agronomic crop decisions.

Eric Bailey, Missouri state beef Extension specialist, discussed management options to extend hay supply following weeks of dry weather and parched fields.

Other speakers included Eric Redden, a Gentry County USDA staffer, who offered a presentation on 2018 corn and soybean drought program options, and Andy Luke, an agronomy field specialist who talked about herbicide carryover under drought conditions.

The agronomic crops decisions tour featured an update on the herbicide dicamba by Kevin Bradley, a professor with MU’s Division of Plant Sciences.

Visiting scholar Erick Martinez covered current research projects related to Japanese beetles, and John Travlos, Agricultural Electronic Bulletin Board system administrator, shared information on Missouri Mesonet and the Horizon Point Site-Specific Weather System.

The sustainable agriculture tour included talks by Tom Fowler, Buchanan County Extension, who offered tips on growing tomatoes for market.

Jake Swafford, of Pheasants and Quail Forever, and beekeeper Raymond Heldenbrand talked about introducing wildlife and pollinator habitat and catching a honeybee swarm.

Carl Blake II, who has been featured on The Colbert Report television program, discussed how he became a producer of Iowa Swabian Hall pigs.

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Staff writer Anthony Brown can be reached at or by calling the newspaper at 660.562.2424.