No. 21 Article 1/September 7, 2012

AGMasters Program Comes into Focus--November 26, 27

The 4th annual AGMasters Conference will take place at Champaign's I Hotel and Conference Center on Monday and Tuesday, November 26 and 27. In a format similar to last year's, a single general session will be followed by 1½ days of advanced classes providing the latest information on specialized topics.

The general session will focus on the significant impacts of the severe drought and the lingering challenges producers face in 2013. An assessment of the hot summer and drought will be brought into historical perspective by Jim Angel, state climatologist for Illinois. Emerson Nafziger, professor and crop production specialist in the University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences, will offer insights on crop selection choices for 2013. Darrel Good, professor emeritus and agricultural economist at the University of Illinois, will share his reflections on the market response to the drought. Looking well into the future--2030 precisely--will be Scott Aughenbaugh's focus. Scott, with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., will familiarize the audience with many of the critical global events shaping the future of each of us. The general session will conclude with a panel of University of Illinois Extension specialists, who will offer remarks about the 2012 growing season and share specific recommendations for 2013.

Following the general session, other speakers will use smaller classroom-style settings to address a variety of topics, including herbicide carryover, corn fungicides, corn genetics and hybrid vigor, cover crops, corn rootworm resistance to Bt, RNAi use in transgenic crops, crop residue management, nutrient availability and environmental effects, and separating pesticide myths from reality.

The AGMasters Conference is unique because participants can tailor-make their program, choosing six advanced sessions from a lineup of 12. Each advanced session is taught with a maximum of 40 students, and instructors are encouraged to stimulate both questions and dialogue. Many of the advanced sessions will be taught by speakers from other universities, including Ohio State University, Purdue University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Nebraska, Washington State University, and Western Illinois University.

The conference co-chairs hope you will put the dates of November 26 and 27 on your calendar and plan to attend. We intend to publish registration costs and deadlines on our conference website later this month.--Mike Gray

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