Crop Advantage Series (CAS) Meetings Yield Savings

Paul Kassel, crops field specialist

Farmers desire agricultural information that is timely and specific to their operations. Many farmers are willing to pay for such information, and Iowa State University has the expertise and the personnel to deliver it.

A state committee was directed to increase the presence of the Crop Advantage Series (CAS) program in Iowa. The Agribusiness Education Program in Agronomy Extension at Iowa State was enlisted to promote and coordinate the CAS meetings. Spirit Lake was one of the meeting sites.

Meeting attendance at the Spirit Lake site was 154 in 2004, compared to 68 in 2003 and 102 in 2002. A post-meeting evaluation was collected from 106 persons in 2004, and twelve participants indicated they had attended previous CAS meetings in Spirit Lake.

Twelve previous attendees were asked, “Have you made any changes in your crop production operation that have increased profits or decreased your costs per acre as a result of attending that meeting?” These attendees indicated a total savings or profit of $167,510 on 11,990 acres, or a benefit of $13.97 per acre.

Comments from producers who indicated that they had previously attended the meetings included: “better marketing and weed control (skills)," "have avoided glyphosate use on corn,” “use Soybean Cyst Nematode resistant (SCN) varieties,” and “thank you ISU Extension for making this program possible.”

A comment from one agricultural chemical/fertilizer dealer indicated a $7.50 per acre impact (increased profits/decreased costs) on 20,000 acres, for a total impact of $150,000. That dealer went on to say the program has helped him “make better recommendations to customers,” including SCN and soil fertility recommendations.

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