If you think it's been a while since you've attended or even saw information about a field day at the Purdue University Agronomic Research Center, you're right. It likely has been a long time. Once an annual summer staple, a field day has not been held there for several years.
Field days have continued at other Purdue Farms, and are continuing again this year. Most have already been held. But you can attend the revamped Purdue University Agronomic Research Field Day at the farm on U.S. 52 about three miles west of West Lafayette on September 5.
The farm comprises more than 1,000 acres. Jim Beatty is the long-time superintendent at ACRE. His wife is in charge of the Beck's Center, used for meetings and training, and located on the facility grounds. The Diagnostic Training Center headed up by Corey Gerber also is located at ACRE, and occasionally makes use of the Beck's Center.
A committee of Extension ag educators in northwest Indiana have planned this field day. It will showcase some of the research going on at the farm, with key presentations by staff in Agronomy, and give you a glimpse into the day-to- day operation of ACRE. While it is a research farm and research comes first, there are also some commercial crops grown on the farm.
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. EDT, with breakfast and special guest speakers from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. Purdue Dean of Agriculture Jay Akridge is scheduled to be one of the speakers.
Tours will run continuously form 9 a.m. to noon when the field day concludes. Eileen Kladivko, Jim Camberato and Brad Joern will discuss soil health, one of the hottest topics going today. Kladivko is Purdue's lead person on a large grant which funds the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative in Indiana. She is best known for her work with earthworms, and is now devoting attention to cover corps, another aspect of soil health.
Credits toward your pesticide applicator license are available. Contact your local Extension office for details.