If you're involved in crop production in Iowa, plan to attend one of the 2008 Crop Advantage Series meetings near you. Sponsored by Iowa State University Extension, they will be held at various locations across Iowa in January.
"The Crop Advantage Series is targeted to providing the latest information to farmers and helping them make profitable decisions for the upcoming growing season," says Virgil Schmitt, Extension field agronomist in southeast Iowa. "Each location has a variety of topics, including crops, pests, soil fertility and farm management."
Each meeting features two keynote addresses. Elwynn Taylor, ISU Extension climatologist, will discuss weather trends and patterns and what that means for the 2008 growing season. Alison Robertson and Daren Mueller, ISU Extension plant pathologists, will be discussing corn plant health and fungicide use, including recent research results.
Fungicide use will be featured topic
In addition to the main topics, each location features a full agenda of topics selected for the growing conditions in that part of Iowa. Many locations feature breakout sessions that attendees can choose from to form their own meeting agenda.
"Each year attendees tell me they wish there were more breakout sessions during the day. They are interested in so many of the topics and can't be at every workshop. The topics are in demand. It's a great problem to have," says Joel DeJong, ISU Extension field agronomist in northwest Iowa.
"The Crop Advantage Series provides a statewide message on important issues yet retains local input on topics for that specific area. Crop and pest management issues are different for each area of the state and these meetings are tailored to fit the needs of farmers in that area," says Brent Pringnitz, coordinator of ISU Extension's Agribusiness Education Program.
These meetings are well attended
This is the seventh year for the meeting series. "We've seen tremendous growth in attendance. Response from producers has been very positive. In addition to receiving the latest research information from ISU, the meetings have been a valuable way for farmers to provide input back to ISU researchers and specialists on what their needs are. It works both ways," states Pringnitz.
Each of the meetings is approved for continuing education credits. Iowa Certified Crop Advisers can obtain up to seven CCA credits, depending on location attended. Each location also offers an opportunity for private pesticide applicators to receive continuing education credits.
"Producers have appreciated the opportunity to get their pesticide applicator recertification done at the same time as the Crop Advantage meeting. It makes an efficient learning experience," says DeJong.
Registration for each location is $35 and includes workshop materials, lunch and refreshments. An additional fee is charged for CCA credits and private pesticide applicator recertification. Registration is available at www.cropadvantage.org or from your local ISU Extension office. For locations, times and program content contact the hosts or visit www.cropadvantage.org.
2008 Crop Advantage schedule
January 4 Burlington
January 7 Ames
January 8 Sheldon
January 9 Cedar Rapids
January 10 Mason City
January 16 Spirit Lake
January 17 Osceola
January 22 Storm Lake
January 23 Carroll
January 24 Fort Dodge
January 29 Atlantic
January 30 Waterloo
January 31 Ottumwa