Attendees hear from Frank Rademacher, Conservation Agronomist, at The Nature Conservancy

On Thursday, June 29th, the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) hosted a Field Talk event at Brock Ideus Farm in St. Joseph, Illinois. This event took place from 9am to 12pm and lunch followed. Attendees learned about cover crops as well as soil health and how to obtain profitability and save on input costs. Frank Rademacher, a conservation agronomist for The Nature Conservancy, shared how to incorporate conservation practices into farm operations. In his talk, he mentioned various cover crop species and the benefits they can bring when practicing conservation tillage. He is a farmer himself and explained a few of the challenges and successes he has had on his own farm.

Stephanie Porter, Outreach Agronomist at the Illinois Soybean Association, spoke on current soybean issues and nutrient needs in relation to growth stages. She also brought a few soybean plants that had chlorosis on the outer leaf edges, a common symptom of
potassium deficiency due to drought.

Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) Outreach Agronomist, Stephanie Porter, and ISA Agronomy Intern, Shelby Stoner, show different soybean growth stages.

Abigail Peterson, Director of Agronomy at the Illinois Soybean Association, discussed conservation opportunities that ISA offers for soil health improvement. She also showed some visuals that included a sidebyside comparison of a field that had soil management practices versus a field that used conventional practices. She also discussed the importance of many organizations working together into the future to provide training and resources for those in Illinois that are seeking help with implementing conservation practices on their farms.

Entomologist Nick Seiter from the University of Illinois discussed recent research findings and opened his talk to audience so that they could ask questions and did a questionandanswer type of discussion. A few topics that came up included corn rootworm beetles and spider mites in soybeans.

A representative from Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources (STAR) also provided information about their open enrollment for the 2023 crop year starting July 1st. STAR is a program that encourages farmers to enroll in conservation practices and recognizes them for their commitment to sustainability.

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About the Author: Shelby Stoner

Shelby Stoner is the 2023 Agronomy Team Intern for the Illinois Soybean Association. Originally from Congerville, IL, she just graduated from Illinois State University in May 2023 with a degree in Agronomy Management. She will be continuing her education at Illinois State in the fall pursuing her master's degree in agronomy.

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