The Agricultural Research and Extension Centers are a network of 11 research centers located throughout the state that emphasize the close working relationship between the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station and Virginia Cooperative Extension. “Inside the ARECs” highlights the work and accomplishments of these 11 centers and will appear in every Insights.
Kentland Farm’s diverse research initiatives were on display during the New River Valley Agriculture Field Day on Aug. 13. Current research projects showcased at the farm included programs that focus on pest and weed management, fescue seed head suppression, and the use of unmanned aircraft in agricultural applications.
The day consisted of a number of stops including the Dining Services Gardens, the new Dairy Science Complex, and a tour of the area’s manor house and other early farm buildings which was led by Sam Cook, the director of American Indian Studies, and Tom Klatka, an archaeologist from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
Graduate students from the Department of Entomology including Louie Nottingham, Tony Dimeglio, and Adam Moorhead led participants through research plots of green peppers and explained how to combat pests like the Mexican Bean Beetle, an insect known for making a meal of the underside of vegetable crop plant leaves.
At another stop Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science Michael Flessner and graduate student Kara Pittman demonstrated findings of weed research plots on the farm using soybeans as a field crops and various cover crops to test soil health and weed suppression.
Craig Woolsey, professor of aerospace and ocean engineering, demonstrated unmanned aircraft and how they can be beneficial to the agriculture industry.
The event was hosted by Agricultural and Natural Resources Virginia Cooperative Extension Agents serving Craig, Botetourt, Bland, Giles, Pulaski, Montgomery, and Floyd counties.