U of I Agronomy Day happens statewide throughout summer 2021

U of I Agronomy Day happens statewide throughout summer 2021
U of I Agronomy Day happens statewide throughout summer 2021

URBANA, Ill. – For the first time, the University of Illinois’ annual Agronomy Day will take place in-person in multiple locations around the state throughout summer 2021. And, like last year’s virtual event, presentations will be made available online to those unable to travel or safely attend in-person events. The adjustments extend the event’s practical, science-based content to more participants than ever.

“Our 2020 virtual Agronomy Day drew about five times the number of people who physically attend in a typical year. So we know the online format is a great option for folks and reaches a wider audience,” says Allen Parrish, director of Crop Sciences Research and Education Centers and chairperson for Agronomy Day. “Now with COVID-19 Phase 5 restrictions in place, we are excited to offer our research-backed findings to folks in multiple formats and locations.”

The five Agronomy Day “tours” occur weekly on Thursdays starting July 22, and bounce between off-campus locations in Urbana and university Research and Education Centers in Baylis and Monmouth. All tours are from 9 a.m. to noon and include a wide array of speakers from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) and University of Illinois Extension.

See the Agronomy Day website for tour details and registration.

 As always, presenters will cover topics that matter to farmers. This year, they’ll touch on hemp production, the latest in crop breeding, nutrient loss reduction practices, pest and weed control, cover crop considerations, ways to maximize grain yield, the economics of regenerative agriculture and other conservation practices, and more. Certified Crop Advisor credits will be available at each event.

The final tour is scheduled for Aug. 19, and will be at the traditional Agronomy Day location, at 4202 S. First St., just south of campus in Champaign. College of ACES Dean Kim Kidwell and Department of Crop Sciences head Adam Davis will give updates during that event. With lunch not be offered this year, Parrish points out participants will find many great dining opportunities around Champaign-Urbana.

They may notice the absence of sponsor booths, as well.

“Even though the state has opened back up, we are making a few sacrifices to ensure these events are as safe as possible. Although we will have no sponsor booths this year, we couldn’t host these events without the generosity of our industry through digital sponsorships,” Parrish says.

A list of sponsors is available at the Agronomy Day website.

Parrish asks participants to register in advance for planning purposes, and notes that videos will be posted on the website as soon as possible after each event. Participants attending in person need to wear masks if not vaccinated for COVID-19.