BOONE - Explore different crop rotations, new non-GMO hybrids and ways to reduce off-farm inputs at a field day being held jointly by Practical Farmers of Iowa, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Service, Iowa State University and the U.S. Testing Network on Sept. 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the ISU agronomy farm.
"With corn and soybean prices at an all-time high, now is a good time to re-evaluate off-farm input expenses and experiment with new practices that can help you farm more profitably," said Practical Farmers of Iowa Research and Policy Director Sarah Carlson. "It's going to be an information-packed day and no matter which cropping system you currently employ, you will take away something useful."
From 10 a.m. to noon, Drs. Matt Liebman, Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture; Craig Chase, ISU Value-added Extension; and Leonor Leandro, an ISU plant pathologist, will share results from comparisons of three different cropping systems and how they affect the need for inputs, economic returns and yields.
These experts will also discuss how crop rotation can reduce the impact of soybean sudden death syndrome and increase weed seed predators. Panora-area farmer Earl Hafner will talk about how to practically implement these rotations and practices on the farm.
Park at the Field Extension Education Laboratory Station, 1928 240th St., Boone, just southwest of the agronomy farm.
At noon, follow the group to the main agronomy farm at 1308 U Ave., Boone. Eat lunch under the tent and visit with seed retailers and corn breeders, who are increasing the non-GMO and organic corn hybrid options available to farmers.
From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., participants will see a history of corn breeding demonstration plot, learn how to interpret yield trial results from Jim Rouse, executive director, Iowa Crop Improvement Association; and hear about improved organic and non-GMO corn hybrids from the USDA-ARS, Cornell, Ohio State, New Mexico State and Michael Fields Ag Institute.
In addition, Eric Clifton, an ISU entomologist, will share initial results from a study comparing entomopathogenic fungi levels between organic and conventional farm soils. This field day is free and open to the public. Lunch is included.
Contact Sarah Carlson at (515) 232-5661 for more information.