By MIKE ROEGGE
For 18 years we've hosted the Western Illinois/Northeast Missouri Notill/Crop Management Conference. And for 18 years we've brought to you the latest in crop management practices from university specialists and producers from both states.
This years' conference will be held on Friday, Feb. 8, at John Wood Community College, 1301 S. 48th in Quincy.
Our keynote topic will be a discussion comparing corn and soybean yields with various tillage systems. Jerry Hatfield will present research data comparing yields and trends for conventional, reduced tillage and no tillage systems.
Many producers are farming using a variety of these tillage methods and can determine which tillage system works best for them on certain soils. But by examining data from across many farming systems and looking at the economics for various systems, you might better determine how effectively these systems fit into your production plans.
The other topic being presented by Hatfield is how various tillage systems perform under (what seems to be) an increasingly variable climate.
I don't think anyone would argue that the past five years have been extremely diverse in terms of water and temperature. 2009 was a very cool spring and summer, one of the coolest in recent memory, while 2012 was one of the hottest in recent memory. 2009 and 2010 were some of the wettest summers in some time, as was the first half of 2011. But from July 2011 on, we've experienced drought conditions.
Calendar year 2012 was one of the driest ever. So what will 2013 bring? Or beyond that?
Obviously no one knows, but I think it's safe to assume that weather is becoming increasingly volatile. Various tillage systems will behave differently under differing environmental factors.
Other breakout sessions will include: GPS-tools or toys?; weed control products/weed resistance; corn nematodes/disease management; grain marketing update; and a farmer panel.
Of course there will be commercial exhibits to view. Coffee, doughnuts, lunch and a proceedings are all included.
Registration is $15 per person and is due by Feb. 1.
For more information, contact our office at 223-8380 or online at web.extension.illinois.edu/abhps/.