"Agronomy Day serves as an annual
showcase in which faculty have an opportunity to discuss their
latest research findings with clientele from Illinois and
neighboring states," said Steve Moose, assistant professor of
genetics in the Department of Crops Sciences and chairman for
Agronomy Day. "This year is also the 100th anniversary of research
on the South Farms, so some of the historic research conducted
during the past century will also be highlighted."
Agronomy Day will begin at 7 a.m. at
the Crop Sciences Research and Education Center, which is located
off St. Mary's Road on extended Wright Street, south of the main
Urbana-Champaign campus [map]. Hour-long wagon tours around the research
plots will repeat every half-hour as groups are available, with the
last tour group leaving at noon.
One tour will focus on soil fertility,
with presentations on variation in corn response to nitrogen, a new
nitrogen soil test, Illinois nitrogen recommendations, soil
compaction and twin rows for corn.
A second tour will cover diseases and
insect pests, including use of fungicides to control soybean rust,
rootworm management, emerging disease issues, nematodes in corn and
A third tour will focus on weed
management issues. The stops will cover weed competition in
pastures, weed competition from glyphosate-tolerant crops, herbicide
injury in soybeans and variable-rate sprayers.
A final tour will concentrate on the
past, present and future of research at the U of I. The
presentations include long-term selection for grain composition in
corn, miscanthus as an alternative bio-fuel crop, the effects of
climate change on corn and soybeans, ozone effects on soybeans, and
a Web tool for crop marketing.
The special presentation celebrating
the 100th anniversary of research on the South Farms is scheduled
for noon in the area near the main registration tent. The featured
speaker for the event will be U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture
[to top of second column in
As the deputy secretary, Moseley
oversees the day-to-day activities of the U.S. Department of
Agriculture. He has played a key role in developing public policy
for agriculture, the environment and natural resources conservation
at the state and national political levels. He was born in Peru,
Ind., and holds a degree from Purdue University.
"The events celebrating the centennial
of research on the South Farms provide a fitting addition to our
other Agronomy Day activities," Moose said. "The research conducted
here has played a major role in developing the modern agricultural
system, which has been so successfully in feeding an ever-increasing
world population while at the same time protecting the environment."
Moose notes that agronomy research was
initiated on the present farm in 1904 on the 80 acres that lie
immediately south of the Seedhouse. A system of crop rotations was
started on the eight series of plots that were laid out from west to
"It is interesting to note that one of
the rotations was made up of sugar beets, corn, vetch and potatoes,
not all of which are common agronomic crops today," he said. "The
30-acre tract that reaches northward to St. Mary's Road and contains
the present buildings was added to the original 80 acres sometime
The South Farms continued to expand
slowly but steadily in size to more than 400 acres by the mid-1990s.
Acquisitions in the last 10 years have increased the area to nearly
1,000 acres, with a wide variety of research activities under way.
The 48th consecutive Agronomy Day is a
partnership among several academic units in the College of
Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the U of I.
additional information, please contact Sharon Conatser at (217)
of Illinois news release]