If you're involved in crop production in Iowa, plan to attend one of the 2013 Crop Advantage Series meetings near you. Sponsored by Iowa State University Extension, the meetings will be held at 13 locations across Iowa in January. Northwest Iowa locations include Sheldon on January 3, Okoboji on January 9, Storm Lake January 16, and Le Mars on January 29.
"The Crop Advantage Series is targeted to providing the latest information to producers and helping them make profitable decisions for the upcoming growing season," says Joel DeJong, Extension field agronomist in northwest Iowa and chair of the planning committee. "Each location will offer a variety of topics, including crops, pests, soil fertility and farm management."
Each meeting features general sessions on topics of particular interest to all producers in that area. Erin Hodgson, ISU Extension entomologist will discuss corn rootworm management strategies and the growing concern regarding rootworm resistance. Antonio Mallarino and John Sawyer, Extension soil fertility specialists, will be reviewing nutrient management research and getting the most from soil fertility plans.
In addition, each location features a full agenda of workshops that attendees can choose from, developing a personalized meeting agenda. Program topics that focus on local needs and production issues are selected by the ISU Extension field agronomists for each meeting area.
"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 Jim Fawcett, ISU Extension field agronomist in east central 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 producers in that area," says Brent Pringnitz, program coordinator with ISU Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension.
Launched in 2002, the meeting series has impressive attendance numbers. "We've seen tremendous growth in attendance for the Crop Advantage Series," says DeJong. "Response from producers has been very positive. In addition to receiving the latest research information from the University, the meetings have been a valuable way for producers to provide input back to ISU researchers and specialists on what their needs are. It works both ways."
Each of the meetings is approved for Certified Crop Adviser continuing education credits. Each location also offers the opportunity for private pesticide applicators to receive continuing education credits. "Producers tell us they appreciate 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 materials are available at www.cropadvantage.org or from your local ISU Extension office.
Dates for 2013 Meetings
Sheldon -January 3
Honey Creek-Moravia -January 8
Okoboji -January 9
Mason City -January 10
Burlington -January 11
Ames -January 15
Storm Lake -January 16
Atlantic -January 17
Carroll - January 22
Fort Dodge -January 23
Waterloo - January 24
LeMars - January 29
Iowa City - January 30