UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Agricultural industry professionals, Penn State Extension educators, crop consultants and producers will have the chance to gain practical agronomic knowledge while earning certified crop adviser, pesticide and nutrient management credits at the annual Penn State Agronomic Field Diagnostic Clinic, July 19.
The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Agronomy Research Farm, located at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, 9 miles southwest of State College on state Route 45.
Presented by the Penn State Extension Agronomy Team, this field clinic is designed to improve the agronomic management skills of industry personnel, extension educators, agency specialists, crop consultants and producers, according to Dwight Lingenfelter, weed science extension associate in the College of Agricultural Sciences.
“The clinic, guided by Penn State specialists, provides hands-on diagnosis training in crop production, pest management, soil fertility, and soil and water conservation,” he said. “Participants will have ample opportunity to diagnose, solve and discuss crop management problems and situations and to evaluate new and alternative management strategies, with a specific focus on northeastern agriculture.”
Lingenfelter explained that the program has been set up to allow participants to attend all sessions during the day, which include the following:
— “Nitrogen Fixation in Corn: A Demonstration of New Microbial Products.” Achieving nitrogen fixation in corn is one of the holy grails of agronomy. In recent years, several companies have released products that allow biological nitrogen fixation to supplement or replace a portion of the nitrogen fertilizer required by corn. In this session, company representatives will review some of these products. Participants can walk through demonstration plots to observe the products’ impacts on crop growth and performance.
— “Scouting and Management of Tar Spot of Corn.” This session will cover the epidemiology and disease development of tar spot of corn, with an emphasis on early scouting and the risk factors that drive the potential for yield loss. Participants will learn about foliar fungicides as a disease management method.
— “Managing Winter Wheat With a Growth Regulator.” The use of growth regulators to minimize lodging risk in wheat is a topic of much debate. Instructors will discuss the potential benefits and tradeoffs of adding a growth regulator to a wheat crop. Participants will walk through test plots that received a range of nitrogen fertilization rates in combination with the growth regulator Palisade. The session will help participants estimate lodging risk parameters, such as plant height and stem diameter.
— “Diagnose Soil Erosion Threat and Design Remedies to Avoid Excessive Soil Loss.” Soil erosion is among the most pervasive forms of soil degradation in Pennsylvania. Approximately 60% of Pennsylvania’s cropland is highly erodible land. Instructors will discuss the various types and causes of soil erosion and how to address the issue. The session will cover requirements, tools and technical assistance in Pennsylvania. Participants will learn how to diagnose soil erosion threat in the field and help farmers make wise decisions to reduce excessive soil loss.
The registration fee for the clinic is $50 per person, which covers lunch, refreshments and materials. After July 12, the fee will increase to $70.
In case of rain or inclement weather, the event will occur from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 20.
Technical questions about the clinic should be directed to Lingenfelter at 814-865-2242 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Penn State Extension