Life

Integrated crop management conference offers information for smart decision making

AMES — Difficult growing conditions, tight margins and weak commodity prices made 2018 a challenging year for Iowa crop production. Making smart, informed decisions based on the latest research and developing technology takes on greater importance for the success of the farming operation. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will offer the 30th annual Integrated Crop Management Conference Nov. 28-29 in Ames to provide agribusiness professionals, industry representatives and farmers an opportunity to learn, question and discuss.

ICM Conference crowd. The conference program features 38 workshops for attendees to select from, developing their own customized program. A highlight of the conference each year are the guest speakers from other universities and organizations invited by Iowa State specialists to share research findings and technology from across the Midwest.

“With nearly 1,000 attendees each year, the ICM Conference is a great opportunity for farmers, industry, ag retailers, agronomists and educators to network with each other and interact with their university specialists,” said Mark Licht, conference chair and assistant professor in agronomy. “We receive great feedback each year for the guest speakers we’ve invited to participate. It’s something we continue to focus on each year while building the conference program.”

Bruno Basso, Michigan State University, will discuss what drives infield variability and effects on yield. From Ohio State University, John Fulton presents on the evolving use of digital technology in U.S. crop production. Fabián Fernández of the University of Minnesota shares his research findings to better understand nitrogen needs and recommendations. Visiting from University of Guelph, Dave Hooker reviews crop rotation and environmental stresses limiting corn and soybean yields. Nathan Kleczewski, University of Illinois, discusses tar spot in corn, how it got here and the impact.

Additional highlights from the 2018 program include weather and crop market outlooks, selling cover crop seed, the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, insect resistance to Bt crops, soybean gall midge and weed and crop disease management updates.

A new addition to the conference is the Women in AG Breakfast on Nov. 29, offering women attending the conference an opportunity for networking, discuss common goals and challenges, and explore potential mentoring or programming ideas.

“This year, attendees will have as many as six workshops to choose from each hour,” said Brent Pringnitz, conference coordinator for Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension. “This format allows participants to customize their conference experience and fulfill necessary CCA credit needs. It’s a popular format that packs a lot of information into two days.”

The conference is approved for up to 14 continuing education credits for Certified Crop Advisors. Iowa commercial pesticide applicator recertification for 2018 is also available in categories 1A, 1B, 1C, 4 and 10.

To register, visit the ICM Conference website www.aep.iastate.edu/icm. Space is limited for the event and requires preregistration. No registrations will be accepted at the door. For registration questions, contact ANR Program Services at anr@iastate.edu or 515-294-6429.

The Integrated Crop Management Conference is hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.