University of Illinois Agronomy Days series kicks off this month

A man stands in a field of knee-high wheat, speaking into a microphone. He is flanked by two groups of onlookers on either side.
Small grains breeder Juan Arbelaez speaks at a field day

Illinois growers have long relied on University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign crop scientists and  Extension specialists to deliver research-backed recommendations that optimize productivity, profitability, and sustainability on the farm. This summer, growers can learn the latest findings directly from the experts during its Agronomy Days series, hosted by the Department of Crop Sciences, the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES), and Illinois Extension

Agronomy Days 2024 will feature a mix of traditional field days, on-farm tailgates, and shade-tree talks. Some events will include light refreshments while others will give attendees behind-the-scenes looks at crop science research as it’s happening. 

New events will be added throughout the season, so be sure to bookmark the Agronomy Days calendar and check back often. Also watch ACES social media channels.   

“The Agronomy Days series carries forward our decades-long tradition of Agronomy Day, but caters to a wider audience,” said Adam Davis, crop sciences department head. “With events all season and in multiple locations, growers tell us they have an easier time fitting these continuing education opportunities into their busy schedules.” 

This year’s Agronomy Days series begins May 24 with a Small Grains Field Day. The event will start with coffee and pastries at 8:30 a.m. at the Agronomy Seed House at 2102 S. Wright St, Urbana. Hosted by small grains breeders and crop sciences assistant professors Jessica Rutkoski and Juan Arbelaez, the event will showcase research plots of wheat and oats, including the latest breeding advances. With the formal program concluding at 12:30 p.m., attendees are invited to stay for a free BBQ lunch until 3:30 p.m. Registered attendees will receive a detailed agenda by email ahead of May 24. 

Multiple June, July, and August events are already on the calendar, but co-chair of the Agronomy Days committee Nick Seiter says there’s more to come. 

“We expect to add events regularly throughout the season, so folks should definitely keep an eye on our calendar all summer long,” said Seiter, assistant professor and faculty Extension specialist in crop sciences. “We’re excited to welcome folks to learn and share with us during Agronomy Days 2024."

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