ExploreACES, the college open house that showcases activities across all college departments and gives prospective students a taste of the range of programs housed in the University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) is being held today and tomorrow. There was a lot of traffic past my UAV display table today.

Despite bad weather we were able to get in one good demonstration flight. Maybe more tomorrow?
No April Fools joke, corn planting started at the South Farm yesterday. Not very much, but for a couple of experiments looking at planting date, April 1 will be the first of several planting dates included. Heat units will not likely accumulate very fast but I will start tracking using the U2U Corn GDD tool. Average weather would predict emergence around the 19th or 20th of April.

3D digital model of the University of Illinois Historic Round Barns generated from 140 images collected with the Pix4D app for the Phantom 2 Vision+ UAV.  Sample look at 3D model of Round Barns

Tomorrow I will spend "two days" on airplanes. Last fall I was nominated by my boss, ACES Associate Dean and Director of Extension, Dr. George Czapar to be a fellow in this year's ACES Global Academy cohort. This program is funded by a generous private endowment to expose ACES faculty to international issues and facilitate collaboration with potential international research partners. This year's cohort is focused on international food security and climate change.
One of those oddities that I get a question or two about every fall. Why do soybean plants near street/highway lights stay green until frost?
Better than expected yields and a very dry fall are causing soils to test very low for available potassium (K). Most of the K in corn is in the foliage an is washed back into the soil by rainfall as the residue decays. Some of the K may also be locked into very dry soil clay particles. If you look at annual graphs of soil available K, September is traditionally the low point in the cycle, but normally the levels rebound quickly after harvest. The lack of fall rains, this year, has delayed that process.