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12/21/2009 - 12/27/2009

Crop Advantage Series Provides Latest Crop Production Information

By Brent Pringnitz, ISU Agribusiness Education Program

If you’re involved in crop production in Iowa, plan to attend one of the 2010 Crop Advantage Series meetings near you. Sponsored by Iowa State University Extension, the meetings will be held at 13 locations across Iowa in January.

The Crop Advantage Series provides the latest information to producers and helps them make profitable decisions for the upcoming growing season,” says Mark Licht, ISU Extension field agronomist in west central Iowa. “Each location has a variety of topics, including crops, pests, soil fertility and farm management.”

Each meeting features general sessions on topics of particular interest to all producers in that area. This year’s keynote address focuses on continuing management of soybean aphid and the growing problem of aphids in corn production. Erin Hodgson, ISU Extension field crop entomologist, will be discussing the latest management strategies with producers at each meeting.

In addition, each location features a full agenda of topics that attendees can choose from, developing a personalized meeting agenda. Program topics that focus on local needs and production issues are selected by the ISU Extension field agronomists for each meeting area.

“Each year attendees tell me they wish there were more breakout sessions during the day. They are interested in so many of the topics and can’t be at every workshop. The topics are in demand. It’s a great problem to have,” says Jim Fawcett, ISU Extension field agronomist in eastern Iowa.

The Crop Advantage Series provides a statewide message on important issues yet retains local input on topics for that specific area. Crop and pest management issues are different for each area of the state and these meetings are tailored to fit the needs of producers in that area

This is the ninth year for the meeting series. In addition to producers receiving the latest research information from the University, the meetings have been a valuable way for producers to provide input back to ISU researchers and specialists on what their needs are.

Each of the meetings is approved for continuing education credits. Iowa Certified Crop Advisers can obtain up to seven CCA credits, depending on the location attended. Each location also offers the opportunity for private pesticide applicators to receive continuing education credits.

“Producers have appreciated the opportunity to get their pesticide applicator recertification done at the same time as the Crop Advantage meeting. It makes an efficient learning experience,” states Licht.

Advance registration for each location is $35 and includes workshop materials, lunch and refreshments. An additional fee is charged for CCA credits and private pesticide applicator recertification. Registration less than one week prior to the meeting or at the door is $45. Registration materials are available at or from your local ISU Extension office.


2010 Crop Advantage Schedule
Tuesday, Jan. 5 -- Sheldon
Wednesday, Jan. 6 -- Osceola
Thursday, Jan. 7 -- Ft. Dodge
Friday, Jan. 8 -- Burlington
Tuesday, Jan. 12 -- Ames
Wednesday, Jan. 13 -- Mason City
Thursday, Jan. 14 -- Spirit Lake
Tuesday, Jan. 19 -- Storm Lake
Wednesday. Jan. 20 -- Ottumwa
Thursday, Jan. 21 -- Cedar Rapids
Tuesday, Jan. 26 -- Carroll
Wednesday, Jan. 27 -- Waterloo
Thursday, Jan. 28 -- Atlantic


Brent Pringnitz is the coordinator of the Iowa State University Extension Agribusiness Education Program. He can be reached at 515/294-9487 or by email at

Extension Offers CCA Exam Prep Class

By Brent Pringnitz, ISU Agribusiness Education Program

The Iowa State University Extension Agribusiness Education Program is offering a review session for the upcoming Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) exam. The two-day review session will be held on Jan. 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. and Jan. 12 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the South Ballroom of the Memorial Union on the Iowa State University campus.

The cost of the course is $225 and includes meals and course materials. Each participant will receive the latest edition of the Crop Diagnostic Notebook containing nearly 150 Extension publications and crop production references. For individuals that already own a copy of the notebook a reduced registration of $175 is available.

Class topics will follow the “Performance Objectives for Iowa, 2008” document, available on the CCA website. Attendees are encouraged to review and be familiar with this document before attending the class.

During the sessions, students will use radio-controlled response devices to answer practice exam questions and track their scores. At the conclusion of the review sessions a ‘mock’ CCA examination will be given so students will know what to expect in an actual testing situation.

All sessions will be taught by Iowa State University Extension faculty and staff.

Class enrollment will be limited to the first 60 paid registrations. Registrations must be received no later than midnight Wednesday, Jan. 6. Pre-registration is required. Registrations may be faxed, mailed, or completed online with a credit card. Registration materials are available online .

For questions about this workshop, call (515) 294-6429 or email You can also find more information online at



Brent Pringnitz is the coordinator of the Iowa State University Extension Agribusiness Education Program. He can be reached at 515/294-9487 or by email at

Crop and Weather Report Dec. 21

Crop and weather report guests include Iowa State University Extension climatologist Elwynn Taylor, integrated pest management specialist Rich Pope, and corn agronomist Roger Elmore. On the first day of winter with snow covering most of the state and halting any remaining corn harvests,  guests comment on the just released corn yield report - 2009 Iowa Crop Performance Test --- Corn.

Taylor says we can expect snow to persist through the winter, with temperatures not quite as cold as recent winters. He also expects field capacity moisture at planting time next spring. Pope and Elmore discuss the yield report and how to use it to make decisions for purchasing seed for 2010. Elmore says to first look at the yield. Then look at the hybrid moisture content, maturity, and standability. Pope cautions against paying high prices for hybrids with traits that aren’t needed in a field.

This article was published originally on 12/28/2009 The information contained within the article may or may not be up to date depending on when you are accessing the information.

Links to this material are strongly encouraged. This article may be republished without further permission if it is published as written and includes credit to the author, Integrated Crop Management News and Iowa State University Extension. Prior permission from the author is required if this article is republished in any other manner.