June 13, 2012

46th annual Belleville Field Day is July 12

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Weeds and weed control, best management practices and a new agriculture leader in Southern Illinois are on tap for this year’s Belleville Field Day at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s agriculture research center in the Metro East city.

The 46th annual event, organized by SIU Carbondale’s College of Agricultural Sciences, is set to start at 8 a.m. on Thursday, July 12, at the Belleville Research Center, located on Illinois 161 south of Scott Air Force Base’s Mascoutah Gate.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the annual Belleville Field Day. The event will go on rain or shine.  For more information, contact Ronald Krausz at 618/566-4761.

The event gives growers and others who work in the many local ag industry sectors the opportunity to hear the latest information available to improve their enterprises.  Participants are welcome to bring any important questions or topics to be addressed by this year’s line-up of experts, said Bryan Young, a weed scientist at SIU Carbondale.

“The College of Agricultural Sciences has a strong commitment to the agricultural industry and the community. This opportunity to perform outreach activities will help agriculture professionals get unbiased assistance in efficient crop production and profitability,” he said. “It’s a way of giving back to our alumni, who comprise a large portion of the attendees for this event.  The target audience is anyone involved in the production of major agronomic crops of Southern Illinois, mainly corn, soybean, and wheat.  This includes farmers, crop consultants, personnel involved with the retail and distribution of crop inputs, basic manufacturers of crop management products, agricultural educators and government regulatory agencies.”

Young said the event would provide important information for industry personnel.

“For instance, we hope the participants will have a greater understanding of the extent and severity of weed and disease problems that exist in the area and how they can best manage these pests,” Young said. “Ultimately, presentations at the field day will share tactics that can help improve management of current crop production challenges and also provide attendees with information they should consider when they make future decisions on crop management practices or marketing of their grain.”

This year’s event kicks off with introductions of the newly named dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, Mickey Latour. Latour, who assumes his new post at SIU Carbondale on July 1, was most recently an administrator and researcher at Purdue University.  As a professor in Purdue’s College of Agriculture, Latour also served as associate dean for Purdue Extended Campus and chief director of Purdue University Distance Learning.

Latour earned his doctorate in animal physiology in 1995 at Mississippi State University, where he also earned his Master of Science in physiology in 1992.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in animal science in 1990 at Southeastern Louisiana State University.

Latour’s research focused on lipid manipulation in final meat products, involving graduate and undergraduate students in his work. His work has established him as a national leader in lipid metabolism, playing a major role in identifying so-called “soft fat” in swine and especially as lipid metabolism relates to the quality of bacon and bratwurst.

Registration begins at 8 a.m., with Karen Jones, acting associate dean for the college, introducing Latour about 8:30 a.m.  Following that, the morning program features an array of speakers running from 9 a.m. to noon.  Presentations include:

            • “Optimizing Corn Planting Rates and Nitrogen Rates,” Stephen Ebelhar, soil fertility specialist, University of Illinois

            • “Status Report on Herbicide-Resistant Weeds,” Bryan Young, weed scientist, SIU Carbondale

            • “Soybean and Corn Diseases: The Seen and the Unseen” Jason Bond, plant pathologist, SIU Carbondale

            • “Marketing Your Crop in 2012,” David Marshall, commodity broker, Toay Commodities Futures Group LLC

            • “The Realities of Spray Drift Regulation,” Scott Bretthauer, extension specialist, University of Illinois

            • “Cover Crops Again? What’s Different This Time?” Mike Plumer, agronomy consultant recently retired from University of Illinois Extension

Following a lunch sponsored by BASF, the afternoon program runs from 1 to 3 p.m. featuring a presentation titled “On Target Application Academy” given by Bob Wolf, manager, Wolf Consulting & Research. A retired application technology specialist in the biological and agricultural engineering department at Kansas State University, Wolf, along with BASF and TeeJet Technologies, developed the On Target Application Academy as an opportunity for growers to gain extensive hands-on training in herbicide application best-practice management techniques. Those participating will gain deeper understanding of new technologies to ensure on-target spray applications and to better train co-workers and employees.

Throughout the day, SIU Carbondale’s Department of Plant, Soil and Agricultural Systems and its College of Agricultural Sciences, along with the Illinois Soybean Association, will provide exhibits under a tent.

Organizers have applied for 2.0 hours of credit toward continuing education units for those attending.