Sep 23, 2014
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Top In-Field Lessons

August 27, 2014
By: Aimee Cope, Farm Journal Multimedia Machinery and Crop Editor
 
 

In a year with low prices and a predicted bumper crop, nearly 1,000 farmers from 28 U.S. states and one Canadian province joined Farm Journal Field Agronomists Ken Ferrie and Missy Bauer in the field for hands-on agronomic lessons. Participants learned from fresh content in the classroom and in-field breakout sessions at the well-known Corn and Soybean Colleges. The all-new Drone Fly-In and Tillage College provided intelligence and insight into two powerful topics in agriculture. Take a deeper look into each event and experience the variety of lessons learned during the one-of-a-kind trainings that improve bottom lines. 


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Illinois Drone Fly-In

The rapid adoption of drone technology has flown into production agriculture as a scouting aid to monitor crops and identify problem areas in fields. Farm Journal’s first drone event offered participants a well-rounded experience highlighting the history, uses, operation and legal issues. During the popular iPad session, participants used imagery and in-the-field maps to scout and locate the exact problem area via GPS. App technology allows farmers to measure distances, run boundaries, take geo-tagged photos and scout fields.
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Event Sponsors: Ag Eagle, Crop Copter, Horizon Precision Systems, Precision Drone and Prime Meridian
 

  

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Illinois One-Day Corn College

Farmers learned numerous lessons ranging from soil health to in-field diagnostics during the one-day event. How well you listen to your soil can mean the difference between producing a low-yielding corn crop or growing one for the record books. Ferrie says soil health involves three important aspects: chemical, biological and physical. To best assess your overall soil health choose from the following tests: water infiltration, soil respiration, aggregate stability, pH, surface hardness, compaction and density.

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Event Sponsors: AgriGold, BASF, Chevrolet, Cover Crop Solutions, FMC, Great Plains Manufacturing, Precision Planting, SFP, Top Third and Yetter Manufacturing





 


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Illinois Two-Day Corn College

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Participants took part in two days of in-depth agronomic teaching on soil health, zone management and cover crops. All three topics were popular, but zone management seemed to be at the top of farmers’ minds. Led by Brad Beutke of Crop-Tech Consulting, participants learned how to identify and create zones based on yield history, soil maps, calibrated yield maps and other imagery. Beutke refers to this as the smart-sampling approach: Rather than trying to randomize out in thefield, you remove variables by using the history of the field itself.

Event Sponsors: AgriGold, BASF, Chevrolet, Cover Crop Solutions, FMC, Great Plains Manufacturing, Precision Planting, SFP, Top Third and Yetter Manufacturing




 


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Michigan Soybean College

The three biggest factors that drive soybean yields are water, sunlight interception and nutrient uptake. The trick is maximizing all three because without them, no farmer can reach a proper yield goal. Participants learned how to avoid compaction, how evapotranspiration works and how to fine-tune row spacing and population. Bauer encourages farmers to walk their fields to evaluate what is going on underground. A top tip is not to allow soil compaction or density layers to limit water uptake.
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Event Sponsors:
BASF, Great Plains Manufacturing, Honeywell, Plant Tuff, SFP, Top Third and Wolf Trax
 

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Illinois Tillage College

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No field or farmer’s approach to tillage are the same. This first-ever Tillage College provided a wide range of resources and information for participants to evaluate different tillage practices. Lessons focused on water management, overall soil health and soil density management practices, ranging from no-till to aggressive corn-on-corn tillage, with the goal of farming in a vertical format. Live tillage demonstrations and soil pits showed farmers the importance of choosing the correct tillage tool and running the tools correctly.

Event Sponsors: AgriGold, BASF, Chevrolet, Cover Crop Solutions, FMC, Great Plains Manufacturing, Precision Planting, SFP and Top Third  


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Michigan Corn College

Participants learned fundamental management practices ranging from emergence and uniformity to implementing starter fertilizer. Starter fertilizer can be an effective way to get your corn crop off on the right foot because it provides the early nitrogen, phosphorus and zinc corn needs. To ensure plants with starter are in good shape, compare and check starter-applied stands amongst each other. To further evaluate starter fertilizer, use the following five tips: review stands and ear counts, dig to evaluate plant roots, evaluate height differences, pay attention to the V-stage and examine ear features.
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Event Sponsors:
AgriGold, BASF, Great Plains Manufacturing, Honeywell, Plant Tuff, SFP, Top Third and Wolf Trax

 

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Learn Valuable Agronomic Lessons at Home

Join Farm Journal Field Agronomists Ken Ferrie and Missy Bauer on the fourth season of "Corn 
College TV." The new season brings top in-field agronomic examples straight to your living room. Hosted by Clinton Griffiths and featuring Farm Journal’s Aimee Cope, the show allows Ferrie and Bauer to walk viewers through the Systems Approach step by step. The program airs on RFD-TV each Wednesday morning at 7:30 a.m. CDT following "AgDay," and again on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. CDT, right after "U.S. Farm Report." "Corn College TV" also airs on affiliate stations across the U.S.  Check your local listings for availability and times.


For future college events, call (877) 482-7203 or visit www.FarmJournalCornCollege.com for dates and locations.

 
 

 

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FEATURED IN: Farm Journal - September 2014

 
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