No. 24 Article 4/November 5, 2010

New Online Course on Crop Advising

The University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences is offering a new online course, Principles of Crop Advising (CpSc 412), next semester (Spring 2011). Faculty will cover fundamentals in agronomic management of field crops, emphasizing crop production and protection. The course will help students prepare for careers in commercial agriculture and provide updates on current agronomic issues. The course will also help students preparing for the Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) examination or will provide CEUs to current professionals.

Lectures will be on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 9:45 and will be taught electronically using the Elluminate course delivery system ( No textbook will be required.

Because there will be two lectures a week (except for Monday, January 17), the course will conclude at midsemester on March 7, freeing students to continue preparations for the growing season.

The schedule of instructors and topics is as follows:

January 12: Howard Brown and Mike Gray--Course Orientation (not required, but encouraged)

January 19: Howard Brown--Physical, Chemical, and Biological Properties of Soil

January 24: Howard Brown--Soil Erosion and Management

January 26: Fabián Fernández--Concepts of Soil Fertility

January 31: Fabián Fernández--Nutrient Management

February 2: Vince Davis--Soybean Development and Function

February 7: Vince Davis--Management of Soybean Crop Systems

February 9: Emerson Nafziger--Grain Crop Plant Development and Diagnosis

February 14: Emerson Nafziger--Grain Crop Management

February 16: Mike Gray--Fundamentals of Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

February 21: Mike Gray--Management of Key Insect Pests of Field Crops

February 23: Aaron Hager--Integrated Management of Today's Weed Spectrum

February 28: Terry Niblack--Elements of Plant Pathology and Disease Diagnosis

March 2: Carl Bradley--Principles of Epidemiology and Disease Management

March 7: All instructors--Course Wrap-up

If you are interested in this course but have not been formally admitted to a degree program at the University of Illinois, you need to register as a "nondegree"-seeking student. To do so, go to Choose "Registration" in the left-hand column, then choose the registration link in the nondegree student section. Registering as a nondegree student will enable you to earn credit for the course and to have CCA credits applied for.

If you have questions about the course, please email me ( The instructors for Crop Sciences 412 all look forward to interacting with the students who enroll.--Mike Gray

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