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Farm profits field day, Tuesday

September 11, 2011
Messenger News

BOONE - Exploring different crop rotations, new non-GMO hybrids and ways to reduce off-farm inputs to become more resilient and profitable will be the focus from 10 a,m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, at the Iowa State Agronomy Farm near Boone.

"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 Sarah Carlson, PFI's research and policy director. "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; and Craig Chase, ISU Extension value-added specialist; 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.

At this phase of the day, parking will be at the Field Extension Education Laboratory Station, 1928 240th St., Boone, just southwest of the main ISU Agronomy Farm.

At noon, attendees will follow the group to the main agronomy farm at 1308 U Ave., Boone, where a lunch will be served, and they can 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 of the Iowa Crop Improvement Association, and hear about improved organic and non-GMO corn hybrids from corn breeders including USDA-ARS, Cornell, Ohio State, New Mexico State and Michael Fields Ag Institute.

In addition, Eric Clifton, graduate assistant, ISU entomology, will discuss initial results from a study comparing entomopathogenic fungi levels between organic and conventional farm soils.

Another attraction will the Corn Breeders and Retailers' Tradeshow.

This field day is free and open to the public. Contact Carlson at (515) 232-5661 for more information.



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