Agronomic Crops and Weed Control
Responsibilities and program activities are to plan and conduct applied field research and educational programs in agronomic crops and weed control in Madera and Merced counties. Along with weed control responsibilities in two counties, crop responsibilities include cotton, alfalfa and small grains in Madera County and alfalfa and small grains in Merced County. Research based information is developed with the cooperation of growers, University research stations and specialists and disseminated by newsletters, mass media, publications, meetings and personal contacts. Acreage of field crops have declined over the past 10 to 15 years due to decreased commodity prices and increased production costs. Much of the acreage has been converted into higher valued tree fruit, nut crops and vineyard. The economic challenges faced by the industry have made information developed by this program important in maintaining a viable field crop industry in Madera and Merced counties. The results of research and educational programs have had a positive impact and benefitted the agricultural industry locally and statewide as well as throughout the US cotton belt. Research work has been instrumental in providing solutions to a number of cultural and pest management problems resulting in maintaining competitive cropping systems which contributed to the overall economy of Madera County and California as a whole.