Agronomy/Soils Field Day August 27 at Arlington

The 2009 Agronomy/Soils Field Day at the Arlington Agricultural Research Station offers a look at the latest in harvesting forage crops for biomass and some advice on how economic distress could affect your taxes, plus updates on a wide variety of crops, soils and pest management research.During a 1 p.m. special session, agricultural machinery specialist Kevin Shinners will talk about his efforts to develop systems for harvesting biomass feedstock crops such as switchgrass and alfalfa. One of those projects involves separating alfalfa leaves from stems in the field.

Over the lunch hour, farm tax and law expert Phil Harris will discuss the tax consequences of financial distress.

If you want to see and hear everything offered, you’ll need to spend the day. The program includes three themed tours, each offered at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Those include:

– A crop management tour with presentations on managing corn for biofuel potential, alternative forage crops, the impact of climate change on corn and soybean yields, and soybean response to plant stress.

– A pest management tour covering soil-borne disease in soybeans. soybean weed management, winter-killing perennial weeds, and managing grazing height to suppress weeds in grass-based systems.

– A soils tour with information on 10-year study of tillage and rotation, nitrogen availability from treated manure, opportunities for biofuel production, and an update on monitoring runoff on single-use watersheds.

Certified crop advisors are able to obtain up to 6.5 CEUs for attending. Lunch and refreshments will be available at nominal cost. If it rains, all presentations will move indoors. The Arlington station is located on Hwy. 51, about 5 miles south of Arlington and 15 miles north of Madison. Watch for field day signs.

For more information, contact the UW-Madison agronomy department at (608) 262-1390 or the soil science department at (608) 262-0485.