By Brent Pringnitz, ISU Agribusiness Education Program
If you're involved in crop production in Iowa, plan to attend one of the 2010 Crop Advantage Series meetings near you. Sponsored by Iowa State University Extension, the meetings will be held at 13 locations across Iowa in January.
The Crop Advantage Series provides the latest information to producers and helps them make profitable decisions for the upcoming growing season," says Mark Licht, ISU Extension field agronomist in west central Iowa. "Each location has a variety of topics, including crops, pests, soil fertility and farm management."
Each meeting features general sessions on topics of particular interest to all producers in that area. This year's keynote address focuses on continuing management of soybean aphid and the growing problem of aphids in corn production. Erin Hodgson, ISU Extension field crop entomologist, will be discussing the latest management strategies with producers at each meeting.
In addition, each location features a full agenda of topics that attendees can choose from, developing a personalized meeting agenda. Program topics that focus on local needs and production issues are selected by the ISU Extension field agronomists for each meeting area.
"Each year attendees tell me they wish there were more breakout sessions during the day. They are interested in so many of the topics and can't be at every workshop. The topics are in demand. It's a great problem to have," says Jim Fawcett, ISU Extension field agronomist in eastern Iowa.
The Crop Advantage Series provides a statewide message on important issues yet retains local input on topics for that specific area. Crop and pest management issues are different for each area of the state and these meetings are tailored to fit the needs of producers in that area
This is the ninth year for the meeting series. In addition to producers receiving the latest research information from the University, the meetings have been a valuable way for producers to provide input back to ISU researchers and specialists on what their needs are.
Each of the meetings is approved for continuing education credits. Iowa Certified Crop Advisers can obtain up to seven CCA credits, depending on the location attended. Each location also offers the opportunity for private pesticide applicators to receive continuing education credits.
"Producers have appreciated the opportunity to get their pesticide applicator recertification done at the same time as the Crop Advantage meeting. It makes an efficient learning experience," states Licht.
Advance registration for each location is $35 and includes workshop materials, lunch and refreshments. An additional fee is charged for CCA credits and private pesticide applicator recertification. Registration less than one week prior to the meeting or at the door is $45. Registration materials are available at www.cropadvantage.org or from your local ISU Extension office.
2010 Crop Advantage Schedule
Tuesday, Jan. 5 -- Sheldon
Wednesday, Jan. 6 -- Osceola
Thursday, Jan. 7 -- Ft. Dodge
Friday, Jan. 8 -- Burlington
Tuesday, Jan. 12 -- Ames
Wednesday, Jan. 13 -- Mason City
Thursday, Jan. 14 -- Spirit Lake
Tuesday, Jan. 19 -- Storm Lake
Wednesday. Jan. 20 -- Ottumwa
Thursday, Jan. 21 -- Cedar Rapids
Tuesday, Jan. 26 -- Carroll
Wednesday, Jan. 27 -- Waterloo
Thursday, Jan. 28 -- Atlantic
Brent Pringnitz is the coordinator of the Iowa State University Extension Agribusiness Education Program. He can be reached at 515/294-9487 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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