Northwest Illinois Agronomy Summit Offered in Freeport - U of I Extension

News Release

Northwest Illinois Agronomy Summit Offered in Freeport

This article was originally published on November 8, 2018 and expired on January 15, 2019. It is provided here for archival purposes and may contain dated information.

The 2018 growing season has been a challenge for producers in Northern IL to say the least! A cold, wet spring prevented us from getting the crop in the ground, and extensive late-season rainfall delayed us in getting it out despite the record-breaking yield predictions for the corn and soybean crop. Despite the fantastic growing conditions experienced throughout most of crop development, things were far from perfect this year; a wide array of issues popped up throughout the growing season to cause problems for producers including: insect pests, foliar disease, stalk rot, ear rot, and lodging. However, with problems come solutions and it is for that reason the University of Illinois Extension is pleased to announce that the first Northwest Illinois Agronomy Summit will be held at the Highland Community College Student Conference Center, 2998 W. Pearl City Rd, Freeport, IL on January 15th, 2019 from 8:30a.m.- 4:00p.m., with registration beginning at 8 a.m.


“Prolonged periods of excessive moisture caused a wide-variety of problems for producers in Northwest Illinois. Producers had to deal with nutrient deficiencies as well as a variety insect pests and disease issues in both corn and soybean. It feels like we had a little bit of everything this year,” Commercial Agriculture Educator Phillip Alberti said. Importantly, 2018 also saw a dramatic increase in incidence and severity of Tar Spot across the state and this has led to many questions about a disease we are unfamiliar with; which is why we are excited to bring Dr. Nathan Kleczewski from the University of Illinois to teach us more about this disease, what research is being done, and how producers may be able to combat it.


The theme for this year’s conference is Updates in Nutrient and Pest Management. For Certified Crop Advisors, five CEU’s will be available, including the categories of nutrient and pest management. Our 2019 Agenda for the regional program includes the following topics and presenters:


Integrated Approaches to White Mold Management

Dr. Damon Smith, UW-Madison,

Field Crops Extension & Research Pathologist,

This presentation will discuss the biology and ecology of the white mold fungus on soybean. Research data on various management strategies will be presented, including prediction models for soybean and the Sporecaster smartphone app. Research data pertaining to studies integrating the management tactics discussed, will be presented.

Practical Nitrogen Management

Dr. Emerson Nafziger

University of Illinois, Extension Agronomist

There has been a great deal of nitrogen fertilizer research in Illinois over the past decade, from N rate trials to timing and types of N fertilizer and tracking N in the soil after it’s been applied. Dr. Nafziger will bring these results together to see what a practical N fertilizer program looks like for corn today.

What On-Farm N Rate Trials Are Telling Us

Dr. Emerson Nafziger

University of Illinois, Extension Agronomist

John Musser,

Stephenson Service Company, CCA

The Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association have coordinated and carried out hundreds of on-farm N rate trials in the past five years, including some in Stephenson County. John Musser (Stephenson Service Company) will describe how such trials are conducted, and Emerson Nafziger will describe what happens to the numbers from such trials.


The 2018 Corn Season: Understanding Tar Spot and Physoderma

Dr. Nathan Kleczewski

University of Illinois, Research Assistant Professor & Field Crop Pathologist


Insect Management in Corn and Soybean

Dr. Nicholas Seiter, University of Illinois, Research Assistant Professor and Field Crop Entomologist

Decision making and control options for corn rootworm, including biology and management of the northern corn rootworm, will be discussed. Additional topics will include Japanese beetle management and insect resistance management.


Grain Storage

Michael Miller

Gavilon Grain, Elevator Superintendent


Data Intensive Farm Management

Phillip Alberti and Jesse Soul

University of Illinois, Extension Educator

“Data Intensive Farm Management” (DIFM) is a new project formed through collaboration by University of Illinois and University of Illinois Extension. Using GPS-guided precision agriculture technology, researchers and farmers can conduct large-scale, on-farm “checkerboard” field trials looking at various agronomic inputs such as nitrogen rates and seeding populations in corn and soybean. The goal of DIFM is to revolutionize farm management by working with farmers to implement scientific experiments on their own farms. This will enable farmers to increase their profits by making data-driven management decisions.


The cost of the program is $30 per person.  Pre-registration required by Friday, January 11.

Registration can be completed on-line at  or by calling the U of I Extension at (815) 235-4125. Lunch will be provided to registered participants. Businesses interested in being part of the event can participate as a sponsor and have a booth for display at the event, for more information contact the U of I Extension at (815) 235-4125.


Source: Phillip Alberti, Extension Educator, Commercial Agriculture,

Pull date: January 15, 2019