Get hands-on training in crops, pests and soils at FEEL this summer

Get hands-on training in crops, pests and soils at FEEL this summer

Workshops at ISU's Field Extension Education Lab can help improve your crop management skills

Several special Iowa State University workshops are being held this summer to help farmers and crop consultants improve crop management, pest management and soil and water management skills and knowledge. This article describes the workshops being held in July and August, and how you can participate and learn more about weeds, corn insects, soybean cyst nematode and crop diseases. There is also a field drainage management school later this summer.

LEARN MORE: Sharpen your crop and pest management knowledge by attending any of several Iowa State University Field Extension Education Lab sessions or other field training workshops this summer.

* July 18-22 is Weeds Week, held at five locations across Iowa
Weeds Week 2016 will focus on herbicide resistance to weeds, and on helping farmers develop better weed management plans. ISU Extension is hosting and this is the second year for the annual Weeds Week series. Held July 18-22, these one-day educational workshops for 2016 are tailored to farmers, ag chemical dealers and crop consultants. Weeds Week events will take place in five locations across Iowa: Crawfordsville, Lewis, Nashua, Sutherland and Boone.

“Our goal is to help farmers develop effective weed management strategies,” says Virgil Schmitt, ISU Extension field agronomist. “Our sessions will provide the information to help farmers and agribusinesses work together; to develop long-term weed control plans that identify sites of action, promote timely application of herbicides and avoid the expenses of dealing with herbicide resistance.”

Sessions offer hands-on weed management planning
Each session will include presentations, hands-on weed management planning, small group discussion and plot tours presented by ISU Extension agronomists. Attendees will learn how to select herbicides from the herbicide effectiveness table, identify which herbicides to apply and develop their four-year weed management plans for their operation or for customers.

Each location of the Weeds Week presentations has a 9:30 a.m. check-in time. The program will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 3 p.m., with lunch served at noon. A $25 registration fee includes lunch, refreshments and course materials and publications. Attendees are asked to preregister to assist with facility and meal planning. To register online, visit aep.iastate.edu/weeds. For more information call 515-294-6429 or send an email to [email protected].

* July 29 Corn Insect Workshop on pest identification & management
Improve your knowledge of corn insect pests: their identification, biology and sampling. ISU Extension is offering a Corn Insect Workshop on Friday, July 29, at the ISU Field Extension Education Lab near Boone in central Iowa. The workshop is open to anyone who wants to learn more about corn insect pest management. The event is of particular interest to crop consultants, agronomists and farmers.

 “Caterpillars are becoming a more prominent insect pest in corn and soybeans,” says Erin Hodgson, ISU Extension entomologist. “The goal of the workshop is for the attendees to learn more about the scouting and management of caterpillars, such as black cutworm, armyworms and European corn borer.”  

Hodgson has observed an interest of farmers backing off of using Bt traits in corn hybrids because of the higher cost of that seed. As a result, corn is no longer protected from common caterpillars and a few farmers have noted European corn borer injury for the first time in 20 years.

“Many farmers haven’t had to deal with caterpillars because the Bt traits have been so effective,” says Hodgson. “Farmers are looking to reduce costs, and for some, that means cutting down on their use of Bt traits. This is leading to an increase in crop injury from caterpillars, with some capable of reducing the corn yield significantly. European corn borer damage results in poor ear development, broken stalks and dropped ears. One larva per plant can cause a 5% yield loss.”

This corn insect workshop, held at ISU’s Field Extension Education Laboratory, will touch on these issues, along with other early season pests. The course will be a combination of inside presentations and outside demonstrations, led by collaborating entomologist Marlin Rice and ISU’s Hodgson. They will assess corn root injury, and split stalks open and look at ear quality with the group.

This workshop qualifies for 5.0 pest management continuing education credits for Iowa Certified Crop Advisors. The registration fee includes breakfast, lunch and snacks. It also will include a packet of crop insect resources, such as handouts, publications and scouting cards. ISU’s FEEL Lab is at 1928 240th St., southeast of Boone in central Iowa. Registration check-in opens at 8:30 a.m. The July 29 program starts at 9 a.m. and adjourns at 3:30 p.m. Preregistration is required and must be completed before midnight on July 25. Registration is $150. Additional workshop information and online registration with credit card is available at aep.iastate.edu/feel/insect.

For assistance with registration, receipts, cancellation or questions on registration status, contact ANR Program Services at 515-294-6429 or [email protected].

* August 23 is ISU’s 2016 Soybean Cyst Nematode Clinic
Topics covered at this clinic will include biology, scouting, sampling and management of soybean cyst nematode.

Anyone with an interest in learning more about these SCN-related topics is welcome to attend the Soybean Cyst Nematode Clinic on Tuesday, August 23 at ISU’s Field Extension Education Laboratory near Boone in central Iowa. This clinic will give attendees the opportunity to understand the interactions of SCN with various factors and other pests and pathogens. There also will be a portion of this clinic which will allow you to obtain hands-on experience with sampling and working with SCN.

The one-day clinic will pertain particularly to crop consultants, agronomists and farmers. It qualifies for 7.0 pest management credits for Certified Crop Advisors, subject to board approval. Instructors include Greg Tylka, ISU Extension nematologist and Augustine Beeman, Chelsea Harbach and Jared Jensen, graduate students in the department of plant pathology and microbiology at ISU.  

“Our soybean cyst nematode (SCN) program will focus on the biology and life cycle of SCN, along with current research updates focused on management of this pest and other concerns related to SCN,” says Warren Pierson, coordinator of the ISU Field Extension Education Lab. “Greg Tylka and current graduate students will discuss their most recent research updates and explain management solutions for SCN.”

The Field Extension Education Laboratory is located at 1928 240th St., Boone, Iowa. Check-in will begin at 8 a.m. on Aug. 23, with the actual program starting at 8:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided for all who attend, and the clinic will end at 5 p.m.

The cost of the event is $150 and that includes workshop materials, publications, lunch and refreshments. Preregistration is required to attend, and the deadline to register is midnight, Aug. 16. Additional information and online registration with credit card is available at aep.iastate.edu/feel/scn.

For assistance with registration, receipts, cancellation or questions on registration status contact ANR Program Services at 515-294-6429 or [email protected].

* August 24 is ISU’s 2016 Extension Crop Disease Clinic
This workshop will include a combination of classroom presentations, discussion and in-field demonstrations of corn and soybean disease scouting and management.

Anyone who wants to learn more about corn and soybean disease management, particularly crop consultants, agronomists or farmers, should register for the Crop Disease Clinic hosted by ISU Extension. The clinic will take place Wednesday, Aug. 24, at the Field Extension Education Lab near Boone in central Iowa.

The goal is to help you understand the principles of Integrated Pest Management and research-based recommendations for Iowa corn and soybean production. The clinic will provide hands-on experience with identification of common corn and soybean diseases. Participants can expect to improve their corn and soybean disease identification and biology skills throughout this clinic, while earning 6.0 pest management credits for Certified Crop Advisers, subject to board approval.

Learn how to best manage corn and soybean diseases
“Our crop disease clinic is a full day focused on the identification, biology and lifecycle of corn and soybean diseases in Iowa,” says Warren Pierson, ISU Field Extension Education Lab coordinator. “ISU Extension specialists, along with post-doctorates and graduate students, will discuss their most current research results and management decisions regarding corn and soybean diseases.”

 

Clinic instructors include Daren Mueller and Alison Robertson, ISU Extension plant pathologists. Participants should dress appropriately for field activities as well as for changing weather conditions. The FEEL lab is at 1928 240th St. near Boone, Iowa. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 24, with the actual program starting at 9 a.m. Lunch will be provided for all who attend, and the clinic will end at 4 p.m.

Cost to attend is $150; that includes workshop materials, publications, lunch and refreshments. Preregistration is required and the deadline to register is midnight August 17. More information and online registration with credit card is available at aep.iastate.edu/feel/disease. For assistance with registration, receipts, cancellation or questions on registration status contact ISU/ANR Program Services at 515-294-6429 or [email protected].

* August 23-25 Iowa Drainage School offered by ISU Extension
Design, installation and maintenance of field drainage systems are the focus of the Iowa Drainage School to be held August 23-25. The three-day program will take place at the Borlaug Learning Center at ISU’s Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm near Nashua in northeast Iowa.

Agricultural drainage is an important management practice for crop production in many areas of Iowa.  “The Iowa Drainage School provides educational opportunities for all interested in drainage whether they are contractors, farmers, consulting engineers, county officials and others,” says Matt Helmers, ag engineer with ISU Extension. “The school focuses on the fundamentals of drainage design including getting an accurate survey, drainage pipe size and spacing, controlled drainage and water table management, legal considerations and different installation techniques and equipment.”

New drainage system designs, tools and technology
The three-day school features classroom lecture and discussion combined with team problem solving and field exercises. Student teams will survey and design a drainage system for a sample area of the host farm, using concepts learned during classroom discussion. By attending this school, participants will be able to plan and lay out subsurface drainage systems and work out project costs. There also will be in-field equipment and installation demonstrations.

Registration for this three-day school is $350 per person if registered by midnight on August 10. Late registration is $400 and must be received by midnight on August 17. Class size is limited to 40 participants and preregistration is required. Registration includes meals indicated on the agenda, refreshments, course notebook and drainage reference materials. Workshop site at 3327 290th St, near Nashua in northeast Iowa. Take exit 220 off Hwy. 218 and drive 1.2 miles west on B-60/280th Street. Go one mile south on Windfall Ave., then 0.2 miles east on 290th Street. The farm is on the north side of the road. Additional program information and online registration are available at aep.iastate.edu/ids

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