seal  Purdue News

November 10, 2003

Conference examines crop issues from start to finish

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Farmers hoping to squeeze wheat and soybean crops out of their land in the same year need to take one step at a time, said Ellsworth Christmas, a Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service agronomist.

In a double-crop system, good land, proper planting methods, fertilization and timing are all important, Christmas said. However, producers shouldn't get ahead of themselves.

"To be successful with double-crop soybeans, you really need to be successful with the wheat crop first," Christmas said.

Christmas will outline successful double-crop strategies during the Indiana Crop Advisor Conference. The conference takes place Dec. 16-17 at Adam's Mark Hotel, 2544 Executive Drive, Indianapolis. The hotel is near Indianapolis International Airport.

The conference is open to crop advisers, farmers, agriculture consultants, agribusiness professionals and ag researchers from across the Corn Belt. It is sponsored by the Indiana Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) Program, Indiana Plant Food and Agricultural Chemicals Association, and Purdue.

Conference attendees can choose from among 40 individual workshops under the categories of nutrient management, soil and water management, pest management and crop management. As a courtesy to attendees, all workshops will be repeated.

Speakers include Extension specialists and researchers from Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa State Penn State and Kansas State universities and the universities of Illinois and Minnesota; Southern Illinois and DePauw universities; the Potash and Phosphate Institute; Natural Resources Conservation Service; and the U.S. Geological Survey, among others.

Christmas and Tony Vyn, Purdue Extension cropping systems specialist, will speak on "Best Management Practices for the Wheat/Soybean Double-Crop System" at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dec. 17.

"I'll emphasize a few points related to wheat production," Christmas said. "I'll include such things as site selection and why you need a well-drained site; the proper timing of wheat planting as soon after the Hessian fly-free date as possible; seeding rates and why they should be in the neighborhood of 35 seeds per square foot; soil testing; applying limestone before planting if the soil is acid; and applying fertilizer at planting according to soil tests, for both the wheat and soybean crops."

Christmas said he'll wrap up his discussion with pointers on planting soybeans after wheat harvest.

"Every day you delay planting soybeans means a significant yield reduction," he said. "You can pick up 5 to 7 days of planting time by harvesting the wheat when it still contains above 20 percent moisture, and it could be up to 25 percent when you start harvest. Hopefully, a variety was selected that tends to mature a little earlier to permit you to harvest even another couple of days earlier."

Other workshop highlights include:

• Ron Hammond, an Ohio State University entomologist, who will discuss slug biology and management in no-till field crops. His presentation will cover key points in the life history and management of slugs, as well as Integrated Pest Management methods for controlling the pest. The workshop is scheduled for 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Dec. 16.

• Peter Thomison, an Ohio State agronomist, who will speak about twin row corn – a system of planting in narrower rows. Although not new, the system is generating renewed interest among growers for its potential agronomic and financial benefits over the conventional row-spacing system. Thomison is scheduled to speak at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dec. 17.

• Michigan State pest management experts Christy Sprague and Chris DiFonzo, who will address weed management and soybean aphids, respectively. Sprague's presentation, "Weed Control Options in Corn," is slated for 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 17. DiFonzo's session, "Soybean Aphid Biology and Control," takes place at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Dec. 17.

Registration for the Indiana Crop Adviser Conference is $195 for Indiana CCA members and $300 for nonmembers. Single-day registration is $100 for CCA members and $150 for nonmembers. An additional $25 will be added to registrations received after Dec. 5.

A conference brochure with registration form can be downloaded online and then clicking on the first item under "Featured Resources & Events." Additional information also is available by calling (800) 387-1283 or (765) 494-4783.

Conference room rates at Adam's Mark Hotel are $75 per night. Those reservations should be made by Saturday (11/15). The hotel's toll-free number is (800) 444-2326.

Writer: Steve Leer, (765) 494-8415,

Sources: Ellsworth Christmas, (765) 494-6373,

Tony Vyn, (765) 496-3757,

Ron Hammond, (330) 263-3727,

Peter Thomison, (614) 292-2373,

Christy Sprague, (517) 355-0271,

Chris DiFonzo, (517) 353-5328,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,
Agriculture News Page

Related Web site:
Indiana Certified Crop Adviser Program

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