URBANA, Ill. – The public will have the opportunity to learn from more University of Illinois scientists than ever before during the 62nd Agronomy Day on Aug. 22. Researchers and Extension specialists from across the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences will share the latest discoveries and best practices in agronomy and land stewardship.
In recent years, participants could attend anywhere from three to five tours, each focusing on a general theme. This year, Agronomy Day will include seven tours, with presentations covering corn and soybean issues, sustainability topics, specialty crops, and considerations for dairy operations.
“There is so much going on in the agriculture industry that it is sometimes hard to sort through all the information. Agronomy Day is a unique event that allows the public to engage with many of the experts in the College of ACES and industry to tap into their wisdom on where to start,” says Allen Parrish, director of Crop Sciences Research and Education Centers and chairperson for Agronomy Day. “There really will be something for everyone this year. We are sure every attendee will walk away having learned something useful.”
Crop sciences department head Adam Davis says the event is suitable for more than just producers. “Landowners, industry professionals, government officials, and consumers have different interests in the event, but each could benefit from attending,” he adds.
The tour topics are as follows:
- Tour A: Crop production – This tour will feature work from Fred Below’s research group, and will focus on optimizing agronomic practices to achieve maximum yield in row crops.
- Tour B: Crop protection – This tour will cover crop diseases and weed issues for row crops.
- Tour C: Crop pests – This tour will include insect pest updates and management for row crops.
- Tour D: Ecology – This tour will discuss cover cropping and habitat considerations for wildlife.
- Tour E: Agricultural economics – This tour will highlight ways to maximize profit in today’s agricultural market.
- Tour F: Specialty crops – This tour will include information on growing edamame, organic corn, and hemp for CBD, fiber, and grain.
- Tour G: Crop improvement – This tour will showcase work from ACES researchers to develop better cultivars.
Similar to last year’s Agronomy Day, tours will be held in multiple tents and buildings at the South First Street Facility, located at 4202 South 1st Street in Savoy. Attendees can earn certified crop advisor (CCA) credits for completing tours.
The exhibitors’ hall will feature exhibits by sponsors, commercial vendors, ACES programs, and student clubs. Food trucks will be on hand for lunch, expanding the culinary options over previous years. The lunch speaker will be John Sullivan, director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Davis and College of ACES dean Kim Kidwell will also speak.