MACOMB, Ill. — “Coping with Extreme Weather: Strategies for Survival and Revival” is the theme of Western Illinois University’s 2019 Allison Organic Research and Demonstration Farm Field Day, slated for Friday, Aug. 9.
According to WIU School of Agriculture Associate Professor Joel Gruver, the daylong event will feature presentations in the morning and field tours and equipment demonstrations in the afternoon. Visiting with vendors and sign-in will begin at 8:30 a.m., and presentations will begin at 9 a.m. in the Dakin Farm shop – .7 miles south of the Allison/WIU Organic Research Farm, in southwest Warren County. A complimentary lunch, featuring local farm products, will be served at noon.
Seth Smith, of Nemaha, Iowa, will share the keynote presentation at 11 a.m. Seth is a sixth-generation farmer who farms with his dad, wife and three kids. The Smith farm, SFI, Inc., is a highly-integrated grain and livestock operation (more than 200 cow-calf pairs and a less than 2,000-head feedlot) with a mix of conventional (1,300 acres) and organic (700 acres) crops that has won multiple awards, including the Iowa Cattleman Association’s Environmental Stewardship Award in 2017.
In addition, Grant Curtis, president of the Illinois Land Improvement Contractor’s Association, will discuss strategies for optimizing drainage, Gary McDonald will discuss farming system strategies for weather resilience, and Gruver, director of the WIU Organic Research Program, will provide an overview of recent research at the Allison Farm and moderate a panel discussion about farming with extreme weather. Panelists will include Grant Curtis (conventional farmer and land improvement contractor), McDonald (organic farmer and consultant) and Curt Forde (organic farmer and inventor).
Between 1:30-3:30 p.m., Gruver will lead a walking tour of the Allison Farm’s research and demonstration plots – featuring corn (yellow, blue and popcorn), soybeans, sunflowers, diverse cover crop mixes, tillage systems, fertility programs, interseeding in solar corridors and cultivation practices. There will also be equipment demonstrations, if weather permits.
To register or obtain more information about the Field Day, contact Andy Clayton – WIU Organic Program research technician and farm manager – at AW-Clayton@wiu.edu, (217) 322-2639 or the WIU School of Agriculture at (309) 298-1080. Advance registration, by Wednesday, Aug. 7, is strongly encouraged to facilitate event planning.
— Western Illinois University
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