Rethink How You Grow Your Crop

September 26, 2015 02:19 AM

Farm Journal College attendees evaluate new practices and concepts to gain bushels 

Each year, hundreds of farmers gather in the fields at the Farm Journal College campuses in Heyworth, Ill., and Coldwater, Mich., eager to learn from Farm Journal Field Agronomists Ken Ferrie and Missy Bauer. 

In a year when efficiency and every last bushel count, farmers are hungry for information on how to identify and fine-tune their management zones. To help map out zone plans, Farm Journal kicked off a suite of events on July 13 in Illinois with the first-ever one-day Zone Management College.  

“The concept of zone management starts with good data,” says Farm Journal College presenter Isaac Ferrie. “Quality data is crucial because we make decisions based on that information and the zones can have an impact for five to 10 years.” 

Following Zone Management College, Ferrie and crew rounded out the week with traditional one- and two-day Corn College events. Content focused on how to make practical agronomic changes without sacrificing yield. 

In light of nutrient regulations coming into play, Ferrie also addressed efficient nutrient use, with proposed nutrient reduction strategies as the measuring stick. The curriculum provided insight on timing nutrient applications. Instead of applying fertilizer when it’s convenient, Ferrie advises splitting applications and feeding crops when needed to avoid a surplus of nitrate and the potential for loss. 

“I think it’s time for everybody to step up to the plate and get educated together—farmers and our city cousins,” Ferrie says. “Agriculture must be prepared if the nutrient rule book becomes mandated.”

During the first week of August, two events, Soybean College and Corn College Fundamentals, took place in Coldwater, Mich., with Bauer and team. Thanks to cool temperatures and no rain, farmers from 19 states enjoyed a mix of in-field breakouts and classroom sessions.

The week kicked off with Soybean College, a one-day event centered on rethinking soybean practices with the goal of increasing yields. Attendees learned about pushing soybean planting dates earlier, conserving seed, lowering plant populations using variable-rate technology and tips to recognize and manage weed problems. 

We appreciate the following sponsors who helped make the events possible—Zone Management College and Corn College Advanced: AgriGold, Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers, BASF, Chevrolet, Compass Minerals, Eco Agro Resources, FMC, Great Plains Mfg., Precision Planting, Verdesian, Top Third Ag Marketing and 360 Yield Center. 

Soybean College: BASF, FMC, Great Plains Mfg., Plant Tuff, Verdesian and Top Third Ag Marketing 

Corn College Fundamentals: AgriGold, BASF, Great Plains Mfg., Plant Tuff, Verdesian and Top Third Ag Marketing.

For video, audio and additional coverage from the Farm Journal College events, as well as details on future trainings, visit


Back to news


Spell Check

No comments have been posted to this News Article

Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer