The 2007 agronomy/soils field day is billed as "tours and exhibits of current crops and soils research," and there will be plenty of both. But there also be a lot of attention paid to current events, controversy and challenges on the farm front.
The topics on the agenda at the Aug. 29 event include what to do with a grain crop that will outstrip storage capacity, how to deal with a federal judge's injunction on the use of Roundup Ready alfalfa, and the implications of ethanol for soil and water conservation.
Among the items on the program:
• Three field tours, offered at 8:30 a.m, 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. — one on Roundup-Ready cropping systems, one on corn and soybean production, and a third on tillage and fertilizers.
• A 12:15 p.m. lunchtime talk on "Where are we headed with the new farm bill," presented by UW-Madison agricultural economist Bruce Jones.
• A 1–3 p.m. "special topic" session focused on emerging issues related to corn and soybean biofuels, including the outlook for biodiesel in Wisconsin, sustainable production certification of biofuels, and the implications of ethanol for soil and water conservation.
• A 3–4 p.m. session on temporary grain storage options, by UW-Madison agricultural engineers Brian Holmes and Scott Sanford.
The Roundup-Ready tour will begin with the smoldering issue of Roundup-Ready alfalfa. UW-Madison weed specialist Mark Renz will discuss the ramifications of a ruling in May by a Northern California federal district court judge that bars the sale of Roundup Ready alfalfa seed and restricts the handling of crops already planted. UW-Madison forage specialist Dan Undersander and Fond du Lack County UW-Extension agent Mike Rankin will talk about if and how the technology can be applied if the ban is lifted. The tour will also include presentations on Roundup Ready corn and soybeans.
The corn and soybean tour will include presentations on soybean variety selections, the economics of seed treatments and foliar fungicides, and sustaining high corn yields in shorter rotations.
The soils tour includes presentations on rotating tillage and how it affects soil properties and yield, a comparison of the relative merits of manure and fertilizer as sources of phosphorus for corn, an evaluation of corn nitrogen management at Pioneer Farm, and how soil drying affects soil test potassium levels.
The Arlington Research Station is located on Hwy. 51, about 5 miles south of Arlington and 15 miles north of Madison. Lunch will be available for purchase. In the event of rain, presentations will be held inside.
For more information, download a field day flyer at www.cals.wisc.edu/downloads/07_AgronSoils.pdf or contact the Department of Agronomy 608/262-1390 or the Department of Soil Science 608/262-0485.