Field Crops Webinar Series session focuses on increasing profits through on-farm research

Learn how to set up on-farm experiments to get useful data and how to work with the data during the Field Crops Webinar Series on Feb. 27.

Promotional flyer

There are so many new fertilizers, crop protection chemicals, biologicals, equipment, and any number of other agricultural products on the market every year, and every company is competing for your business. There are also hundreds of opinions and research findings that describe some new (or old) farming practice that will improve efficiency, soil health, resiliency, crop quality or yields. The question is: how do farmers know which of these products and practices are right for their farm?

Field crop producers, consultants and agribusiness professionals are invited to participate in the Field Crops Webinar Series 2023, a series of eight online programs addressing field crop production and pest management offered by Michigan State University Extension. Participants will be able to access the expertise of agriculture specialists and educators from the comfort of their home or office.

The theme for this year's series is Two for the Price of One: Conversations in Row Crop Agriculture. Each session will feature two speakers giving short presentations and discussing different aspects of the topic in an informal talk-show/podcast format with plenty of opportunity for interaction with the audience. The live webinars will run on Monday evenings from 7 to 8 p.m. ET beginning Feb. 6 and ending March 27, 2023.

On Feb. 27, the session will feature David Bullock from the University of Illinois and Elizabeth Hawkins from The Ohio State University discussing Increasing Profits through On-farm Research.” On-farm research is a great way to improve the profitability of a farm operation. Many farmers are already making comparisons to aid in decision making. Hawkins will discuss how to get started with on-farm research and best practices for getting the most out of your data. She will also share some opportunities for getting involved and resources for learning about research other farmers are conducting.

Bullock will explain why simply knowing “yield potential” zones may not be useful in deriving profitable site-specific input management prescriptions. Rather, it is necessary to know how yield response differs across the field to develop profitable site-specific prescriptions. Bullock then explains how farmers and crop consultants can work with the multinational Data-Intensive Farm Management Project (DIFM) to run large agronomic field trials on their own fields, gain data-based knowledge of site-specific yield response in their fields, and so derive profitable management insights from the data.

The DIFM is developing a user-friendly, cloud-based cyber-infrastructure to allow consultants and farmers to design large-scale field trials, generate data, gather, and process that data, analyze it, and work interactively with the results. DIFM is currently recruiting crop consultants, retail input dealers, and their farmer-clients to participate in a $4 million USDA-sponsored research project, in which they design and run on-farm precision experiments on their own fields, and then use DIFM tools to derive profitable management insights from the data generated. DIFM offers cash stipends to participants, and completely compensates farmers for any profit losses incurred because of participation in the project.

Cost of registration is $20 per person for the entire series. Those attending the live webinars will be eligible to earn one Michigan pesticide recertification (RUP) credit per session for application to one of the following categories: Private Core, Commercial Core or Field Crops. One continuing education unit (CEU) for Certified Crop Advisers will also be available for each session.

To register for the webinar series, visit the Field Crops Webinar Series event pageThe webinars may be accessed on a mobile device or a computer with a stable internet connection. Webinars will be recorded and archived, and participants may choose to view all recordings from the series at a later date. Credits are available only for participants in the live sessions. Archived recordings from previous seasons are accessible for free from the MSU Extension Field Crops webpage.

March 6

Soft Landing? Buying and Renting Agricultural Land in 2023 — Matthew Gammans, MSU and Wendong Zhang, Cornell University

March 13

Integrated Wildlife Damage in Michigan Field Crops — James DeDecker, MSU, Amberly Hauger, USDA Wildlife Services, and Colter Lubben, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

March 20

Weed Management and Herbicide Efficacy in Variable Weather — Erin Burns, MSU and Christopher Landau, University of Illinois

March 27

Opportunities and Challenges of Disease Management — Marty Chilvers, MSU and Albert Tenuta, OMAFRA

For additional information or assistance, contact the St. Joseph County Extension office at 269-467-5511 or Requests for accommodations for persons with disabilities will be fulfilled when possible.

Did you find this article useful?