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Pick the Best Corn College for You

June 25, 2013
By: Margy Eckelkamp, Farm Journal Machinery Editor and Test Plot Director

 2013 is the 6th year Farm Journal has hosted Corn College events. Every year, we adjust our events to incorporate feedback from previous attendees as well as reflect the season farmers are having to provide them with the training they need. All events are a combination of a classroom sessions as well as breakouts in the field.

Here’s an overview of the summer events in 2013

In Illinois, we’ll host three events for farmers: a one-day July 16 event; a two-day July 17-18 event; and a brand-new one-day Grad School event on July 23 (this will be an event that does not include sponsors). At the first two events, the presentation topics include disease diagnostics and decision-making exercises; herbicide management and in-field symptomology; as well as nitrogen management. In the middle of the day, sponsors have the opportunity to present lunch and learn sessions, which are 20 minute information presentations given by an expert representing the sponsor. The one-day event will have in-the-field nitrogen evaluations led by Ken Ferrie. The two-day event will allow for more time for Ferrie to discuss what he is learning about soil health and how it relates to every farmer. Corn College Grad School is a brand-new, private-pay event for farmers in which they are paying the full cost for the event rather than it being subsidized with sponsorships, and this event will also offer an estimated 11 Certified Crop Advisor CEUs. The content is direction toward Corn College alumni ready to take the Systems Approach to the next level on their farm, with highlight topics including, in-the-field nitrogen management, in-field herbicide diagnostics and soil health. 

In Michigan, we will host two events for farmers: a one-date Soybean College on July 30 (the only in-field Soybean College hosted by Farm Journal) as well as a two-day Corn College event on July 31-Aug 1. The one-day Soybean College’s presentation topics will include: understanding the soybean plant’s yield components, early season management, in-field growth stage and insect identification, and cyst nematode management. All of the Soybean College breakouts are hands-on or interactive. The one-day Corn College event is referred to as Fundamentals because it’s designed for the first-time Corn College attendee to provide an introduction to the Systems Approach. One topic that Missy Bauer believes all farmers should have a strong foundation with is how to implement VRT on their farm, and so a general session and a hands-on breakout session will show farmers how to get started, the equipment they may consider, how to build management zones, how to build prescription planting maps, and lessons Bauer has learned along the way. The presentation topics will include: understanding soil density and in-field soil pits, growth stages and in-field diagnostics, how to build management zones and how to implement variable-rate technology. Both of these events allows sponsors to present lunch and learn sessions in the middle of the day, which are 20 minute information presentations given by an expert representing the sponsor.

We host two, one-day Corn College events especially designed for consultants, retailers and professionals from agribusiness (and these events offer Certified Crop Advisor CEUs). These events are presented in a way to train those who serve farmers. Both events take place on Mondays: July 15 in Heyworth, Ill.; and July 29 in Coldwater, MI. What particularly makes these events unique is the amount of hands-on activities, which this year will include in-field herbicide performance evaluation and identification for better understanding of misapplications and carryover at the Illinois event, and in Michigan, there are hands-on breakouts focusing on corn and soybeans. Each of those events has a different lineup of presentation topics. In Illinois, topics include disease diagnostics and decision-making exercises; herbicide management and in-field symptomology; as well as nitrogen management. In Michigan, this event is mainly focused on corn but also incorporates bonus soybean sessions. The corn topics include, steps toward implement variable-rate population and nitrogen as well soil density and growth stages, and the soybean topics include management cyst nematodes and understanding yield components.

For the full lineup of events, click here.  

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