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Northern Illinois Agriculture

University of Illinois Extension
Dr. Christy Sprague
Michigan State University

2013 AG Masters conference

Just returned from campus after attending the 2013 version of the AG Masters conference. The conference planning committee works diligently to bring in talented speakers with different perspectives, often from different states. Several things gleaned from the sessions I attended include

  • Dr. Kevin Bradley -University of Missouri      Biology and Management of the Pigweed Species
    • Palmer pigweed at 2.5 plants per foot of row can reduce soybean yield by 79%
    • Palmer grows rapidly; dry weight of Palmer was up to 65% heavier than other pigweed species two weeks after emergence
    • Pigweed species seeds are relatively short lived in the soil (4-5 years)
  • Dr. Ken Ostlie - University of Minnesota      Corn Rootworms and Bt Trait Resistance: Re-Learning Management
    • Minnesota has experienced scattered performance issues with all traits, even multiple traits in some fields in recent years
    • Overwhelming majority of effected fields are corn after corn with multiple year history of the same trait(s)
    • Beetle density/root injury have been remarkable (Like northern Illinois??)
    • If a CRW trait is working expect a reduction of numbers and date of emergence of beetles
While on campus I received the good news that NIARC research agronomist Greg Steckel and farm foreman Dave Lindgren successfully finished harvesting the final plots in Shabbona, were done! The soil samples for our off-site cover crop cooperator was also completed today in front of impending cold weather.

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