EWING, Ill.— Extension educators and campus faculty came together to provide best management practices for local growers at the Ewing Agronomy Field Day. Every season presents challenges to production, and this year was no exception. The unseasonably wet spring filled with heavy rains caused delayed planting and prevent planting across the region. This year’s field day focused on aiding farmers with management practices during one of the most challenging years.

Educators shared information with local growers on current, ongoing agronomy research in southern Illinois, including cover crop and nutrient management trials, nitrogen management in corn and milo, and drilled soybean population.

Local Food Systems & Small Farms Educator, Nathan Johanning, discussed navigating weed management and cover crops while Commercial Agriculture Extension Educator, Talon Becker, shared information on their current research trial of industrial hemp being conducted at the Ewing Demonstration Center.

Research Assistant Professor, Nick Seiter, shared information on insects and pests that are commonly found in field crops while University of Illinois Research Assistant Professor, Nathan Kleczewski, shared updates on disease management to correspond with the delayed planting season local farmers have experienced this year. One example is the soybean cyst nematode, a plant-parasitic nematode that is a devastating pest of the soybean worldwide.

Reid Christianson, University of Illinois Research Assistant Professor, and grad student, Taylor Berkshire, help participants have a better understanding of phosphorus loss and water quality impacts on crops. And University of Illinois Professor, Gary Schnitkey, presented on the future of corn and soybean profitability.

The Ewing Demonstration Center has served the agricultural community of southern Illinois since 1910. For more than 50 years, it has featured no-till research and demonstration plots. Research at the center includes insect and herbicide trials, cover crops, pumpkins and variety trials for corn, soybeans, sorghum and wheat. 

Among the crowd of 65 participants were Senator Dale Fowler and Representative Dave Severin. They stopped by the Agronomy Field Day and each donated $500 to kick off newly established Ewing Field Research Fund. Investments to this fund will renew and enrich the more than 100-year legacy of agronomic research at the center.

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in programming, contact your local registration office. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your needs.

News source: Nathan Johanning, 618-687-1727, njohann@illinois.edu

News writer: Heather Willis, 618-357-2126, hdwillis@illinois.edu