The Worth County Corn and Soybean Clinic

Dennis Johnson, Worth County Extension Education Director, Northeast Area

Problem Statement:

Cerro Gordo and Worth County Extension have a strong tradition of successful crop clinics supported by local sponsors. Other County Extension Directors have expressed interest in holding a county crop clinic using the CG/ Worth model. In recent years the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) has used local crop meetings supported by local sponsors to recruit for and organize county corn grower affiliates.  The Agribusiness Education Program at Iowa State has organized the statewide Crop Advantage Series (CAS) to showcase ISU expertise.  Mason City (Cerro Gordo Co) hosts the regional CAS meeting and expects Extension Offices in the area to recruit for and promote this event. In the past these events have created scheduling conflicts as all sought to serve a common clientele. All involved expressed interest in coordination and cooperation rather than competition for a common audience.

Programmatic Response:

A planning meeting was held in late summer which included the CEEDs from Cerro Gordo, Mitchell and Worth Counties; Bruce Gaarder, the regional ICGA representative; and the ISU Extension Crop Specialist. ISUE and ICGA agreed to co-host the Cerro Gordo/ Worth County crop clinics on a trial basis in 2007. These crop clinics were scheduled after the CAS program in Mason City. Topics and speakers were chosen to avoid duplication. One half-day program qualified for Private Pesticide Applicator Re-certification. Dr Jon Tollefson, ISU Entomologist, delivered the elective Pest Management topic on Corn Rootworm Management. The other half-day program featured presentations on: Ethanol Production and Corn Demand  by Gary DeLong an ICGA Marketing Specialist;  The Agronomics of Continuous Corn by Roger Elmore, ISU Extension Corn Specialist; Ethanol Production and Its Implications for N. Iowa Agriculture by Don Hofstrand, ISU Extension Farm Mgt. Specialist; and a panel on Ethanol Production and Its Impact on the N. Iowa Economy that included Dave Sovereign, President of Golden Grain Ethanol in Mason City, a traditional grain marketer from each county, and Mark Sabin, a VP of the Iowa Northern Railway on the new ethanol/co product distribution terminal under construction in Manly, Iowa (Worth County).

The meal and program costs were covered by local sponsors. Appropriate fees were collected for PA re-certification and CEU credits for Certified Crop Advisors.


Attendance at the crop clinics (280), the CAS program in Mason City (147), and the nearest ICGA meeting at Bassett (135) all exceeded expectations. Over 90% of the crop clinic post- evaluations rated the program xcellent or Superior.  Local speakers expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to increase awareness of the opportunities that ethanol production creates and share their visions and concerns.

Farmers and Agribusiness men that participated in the Crop Clinics indicated they had a much better awareness of the ethanol industry and what the demand for corn might be for the coming growing season. They also were made much more aware of the positives and negatives of growing corn on corn to meet the increased industry demands for corn. Clinic income covered all expenses, ISU speaker re-imbursement, and some cost recovery. ICGA plans to continue the Cerro Gordo/ Worth partnership and will consider using it as a model for other ICGA/ ISUE programming. 

Follow-up articles in the Northwood Anchor, the Mason City Globe Gazette and Agri-News plus radio interviews aired by KGLO, KIOW, KOEL, the Linder Farm Network and KLMJ expanded the reach of this Extension Program.

101 Agronomic Practices


Page last updated: September 28, 2007
Page maintained by Linda Schultz,