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Soybean Success: Get the most out of field days this time of year.

August 5, 2016

3 Min Read

Late summer days drenched in humidity and heat are also the days to see the latest and greatest from seed suppliers, ag chemical companies, equipment manufacturers, service providers and Extension folk. Field days are days to catch up with neighbors, consultants and experts. As a kid, it was time for me to get a great steak dinner with the fixins and drool over our seed salesman's restored 1950s truck. That field day was really more like my "Field of Dreams" — good food and sharp truck.


As an adult, field days are also like "Fields of Dreams." “If you build it, they will come.” And if you grill it, they will come. If you showcase the latest, they will come. If you predict the future, they will come. Whether it’s a company or Extension event, both want to share the latest product and impart knowledge on it. We also do our best to anticipate the future to ensure successful decisions for your operation.

Search for answers

We wade through information based on facts, experiences and feelings. The trick is determining the validity of this information to draw conclusions. Consistent messages across the majority of the agronomic community — industry, Extension and fellow farmers — are easier to follow. However, mixed messages tend to be the norm in farming and life. Please weigh the source of information based on fact and experience rather than shear volume of messages.

Clear answers don’t always exist. We often reply, “It depends.” Sound logic and critical thinking should be at your side as you listen and learn during these "Fields of Dreams." Multiple field days provide opportunities to question and to learn.

Special field day

Here are details of the Agronomy Center for Research and Education (ACRE) field day. It will be held Sept. 8. Check-in is at 8 a.m. EDT, and the program will start at 8:30 a.m.

One major highlight is the new Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center. This is certainly a look into the future as we develop new tools to improve breeding efforts and characterization, as well as reliably examine the response of crops to various management scenarios. The pheno-mobile tool is effectively a high-clearance sprayer equipped with sensors and reflectance instruments. It and several unmanned aerial vehicles will be on display at the field day.

We will also look at the importance of combine yield monitor calibration with Bob Nielsen, Purdue Extension corn specialist. I will give an update on the latest trends and investigations of soybean management. Shalamar Armstrong will look at innovative ways to seed cover crops.

For those needing Private Applicator Recertification Program (PARP) credits, there will be an optional session after lunch at the Weed Garden from 1 to 2 p.m. with Bill Johnson, Purdue Extension weed control specialist.  

The Agronomy Center for Research and Education is a located at 4540 U.S. 52 West in West Lafayette.

Please preregister by Aug. 31. For more information or to register by phone, call Bryan Overstreet at 219-866-5741 at the Jasper County Extension office.

Casteel is the Purdue University Extension soybean specialist. Email him at [email protected], and visit

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