Jim Fawcett, Crop Specialist, Southeast Area
There are now hundreds of certified crop advisors (CCA's) in the state who need education to excel in their profession and to receive credits to maintain their certification status. Every certified crop advisor must receive 5 hours of credit in each of 4 subject areas over a 2-year period to remain certified. With the threat of Asian soybean rust now facing Iowa soybean producers, it is important to have a large group of professionals across the state that are well trained to identify this disease. Revenue generation has become more important with the current budget problems and certified crop advisors are often willing to pay fees to obtain their credits.
A special morning session for certified crop advisors was added to the already scheduled spring field day at the SE Iowa Research & Demonstration farm near Crawfordsville on June 23, 2005. The morning session allowed Asian soybean rust "first detectors" to fine tune their skills by giving them hands-on training in identifying foliar soybean diseases. The session was structured to allow more CCA's to become first detectors. Soil & water conservation and management was another emphasis of the morning session and afternoon field day, which allowed participants to earn credits in the category "soil and water management" which many have found difficult to obtain. A mailing list of CCA's in eastern Iowa was compiled from attendance at previous CCA events, which was used for sending out a mailing on the event. In addition, an article in the ICM Newsletter helped to promote the event. The NRCS also helped to promote the event.
Seventy certified crop advisors attended the morning session and most stayed for the afternoon spring field day tour at Crawfordsville. Each participant paid $50, which resulted in over $2000 in revenue generation after expenses. Having the session immediately prior to the field day tour helped increase attendance at the tour, which at 155, was the largest crowd in many years. Even though foliar soybean diseases were widespread this year, crop producers did not panic and assume Asian soybean rust was causing the problem. Few fields were needlessly sprayed with fungicide in the area. This may have been partly due to the extensive training received by first detectors and certified crop advisors.
142 -- Integrated Pest and Crop Management
Page last updated:
July 9, 2006
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