Educators and faculty provide best management practices for local growers at annual field day

EWING, Ill. – The Ewing Demonstration Center, which has been around for over 100 years, continued the tradition of in-person field days for area growers and agriculture professionals. Through their recent Agronomy Field Day, various educators and campus faculty were on site at the research grounds to answer questions and provide best management practices for local growers.

Over 60 participants were in attendance to learn more from experts in soil health, cover crops, phosphorus management, and field crop insects. Nathan Johanning, an extension educator for commercial agriculture stationed in Waterloo, Illinois, shared information about cover crops. Andrew Margenot, University of Illinois assistant professor, discussed managing ammonium phosphates to reduce nitrogen losses. A repeat speaker, Nick Seiter, University of Illinois research assistant professor, discussed management strategies of Dectes, stem borers, stink bugs, and other crop pests. Talon Becker, an extension educator for commercial agriculture who helps to manage the Ewing Demonstration Center, shared information on the possible agronomic and soil health benefits of cover crops. He also demonstrated how data from the University of Illinois Variety Testing Program’s southern Illinois locations shows the potential for flexibility in selection of earlier soybean maturities to aid in the adoption and establishment of cover cropping systems in the region.

Ewing Demonstration Center has served the agricultural community of southern Illinois since 1910.  Research at the center includes various trials for corn, soybeans, sorghum/milo, wheat, and cover crops. The center has featured no-till research and demonstration plots for more than 50 years as it offers representative growing conditions for southern Illinois. In the fall, the Demonstration Center will host another in-person event for local students interested in the field of agriculture. To learn more about upcoming events offered by Illinois Extension, visit

SOURCE:  Talon Becker, Commercial Agriculture Educator, University of Illinois Extension,, (618) 439-3178

WRITER: Heather Willis, marketing and communications coordinator,, (618) 357-2126

ABOUT EXTENSION:  Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.