Crop adviser conference considers yields, new technology

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Global food security and recent declining crop yield trends will be the focus of this year's Indiana Certified Crop Adviser Conference to be held Dec. 20-21.

The conference, at the Indianapolis Marriott East Hotel, 7202 East 21st St., includes 36 unique presentations in separate but concurrent tracks for nutrient, soil and water, pest, and crop management. There will also be a multi-disciplinary track on winter wheat and professional development.

"With current genetics, our yields are supposed to be getting better, but in recent years, we've seen declining state averages in the Eastern Corn Belt. This year Indiana is forecast to harvest our lowest corn yields since 2002 and our lowest soybean yields since 2003 - much lower than the trend yield projections from recent years," said Tony Vyn, Purdue Extension agronomist. "In order to meet the United States' and growing global demands for food, feed, fuel and fiber, we need to enhance our overall crop management and adopt the most effective short- and long-term pest, nutrient and soil conservation technologies."

Some of the conference topics and speakers are:

* "Global Food Security," Gebisa Ejeta, Purdue University agronomist and 2009 World Food Prize Winner.

* "Fertility Programs for Future High Yield Corn and Wheat," Mark Alley, soil scientist, Virginia Tech.

* "The History and Future of Soybean Yields: Genetics or Management?" Shaun Casteel, Purdue Extension soybean specialist.

* "Revisiting Fungicide Applications on Corn and Soybeans," Kiersten Wise, Purdue Extension plant pathologist.

* "Online Ag Weather Resources and Tools," Tom Priddy, agricultural meteorologist, University of Kentucky.

* "Tile Drainage and Controlled Release Systems," Harold Reetz, Reetz Agronomics.

* "Performance Problems with Transgenic Rootworm Traits," Ken Ostlie, entomologist, University of Minnesota.

Of the 35 speakers addressing a wide range of crop technologies at the conference, 20 are from outside Indiana.

"We've had promises of higher yield potentials with new genetics, but the actual yields have been hammered by weather conditions," Vyn said. "We'll look at some of the technologies available: insect resistance traits, tile drainage, fertility programs, fungicides and precision agriculture to see what’s working.

"Top-notch crop consultants and farmers need to continue incorporating proven technology advances that match management combinations to the new genotypes and soil plus climate environmental constraints."

Participants can receive up to 16 credits in continuing education units (CEUs) as Crop Advisers, and continuing certification hours (CCHs) as Pesticide and Fertilizer Applicators, for attending the conference and thereby maintaining their professional certifications.

The two-day conference costs $195 for CCA members or $300 for non-members. Single-day registration is $100 for members and $150 for non-members. An additional fee of $25.00 will be charged for all registrations after Dec. 13.

Register for the conference and see the complete program at http://www.indianacca.org



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