Corn and soybean growers in western Illinois will have the opportunity to learn about the latest in herbicides, as well as tour field plots, at the Western Illinois University School of Agriculture's annual Herbicide Field Plot Tour. The event is slated to start at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 24 at the WIU Agronomy Field Laboratory (located immediately north of WIU's Harry Mussatto Golf Course at 1215 Tower Road in Macomb). According to Gordon Roskamp, agriculture professor at Western, in addition to being open free to the growers, it is also open free to herbicide industry representatives and pesticide dealers.
Roskamp said the following topics will be presented during the tour event:
- Weed resistance is a growing concern. Bayer Crop Sciences held an international conference about weed resistance in January, and Daren Bohannen, with Bayer Crop Sciences, will update attendees on the current status of weed resistance in the Midwest.
- Will corn respond to applications of sulfur? Earl Allen, University of Illinois Extension Fulton County director, has been involved in a statewide project and will have data to share. The trials will continue in 2010, but preliminary data indicates a significant response on some soils.
- Are corn nematodes causing yield losses in western Illinois? Terry Niblack, extension specialist, plant pathology, at the University of Illinois Extension, conducted a survey throughout Illinois last spring, and she will talk about those results, along with some information on seed treatment nematicides, currently available for corn and soybeans.
- The Illinois Soybean Association launched a Yield Challenge in 2010. Jim Nelson, with Seed Solutions, will talk about the objectives of the Yield Challenge and how it may shed some light on practices that may improve soybean yields for growers in western Illinois. Nelson will also discuss non-GMO markets.
- Pioneer recently released Acre-Max 1, putting refuge seed in the bag to avoid the trouble of planting a separate refuge for Bt corn rootworm resistance. Shawn Jones, an agronomist with Pioneer, will talk about current restrictions for "refuge in the bag.
- "Would you like to earn money for "doing the right thing"? Greg Jackson will talk about the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) results for the first round of applications, as well as how other growers in western Illinois could earn payments for "going green."
- Alfalfa has been called the "Queen of Forages." Lance Taylor, with Dairyland, planted several alfalfa varieties to measure yield, quality and longevity; he will talk about hybrid alfalfa and characteristics of the ideal alfalfa variety along with Dairyland's breeding program.
- Spray drift is always a concern during windy conditions in the early spring. One method of reducing the production of tiny droplets is the use of spray thickening agents; however, contact herbicides require thorough coverage for maximum control. Several thickening agents have been applied with Ignite and Roundup. Mike Roegge, a University of Illinois Extension educator in Adams and Brown counties, will talk about spray drift.
- The University of Illinois Extension has experienced a significant cut in its budget. Loretta Ortiz-Ribbing will explain the current plans for reorganization, and she will also discuss a new potential threat to soybeans in the U.S., the Trochanter mealybug.
"In addition to these speakers, the plot tour will feature more than 20 weed-control experiments established in no-till and mulch-till. New herbicides and new GMOs for weed science will be discussed, as well. Most of the current recommended weed-control programs are on display in fields with relatively heavy weed pressure," Roskamp noted.
For more information, contact Roskamp at (309) 298-1569 or GK-Roskamp@wiu.edu.