How Crop Modelling Can Help Make Farming Decisions -- Crop modelling is a tool that has been widely explored in the last decade to understand the physiological basis behind the cropping systems. However, its impact in farming systems has been limited. We will discuss how crop modelling can support farmers in their decision-making process using examples in corn, soybeans, and sorghum. Instructor: Ms. Ana Carcedo, Kansas State University. Wednesday 8:00am and 9:00am.
Soybean Management Misconceptions – The soybean crop sensitivity to stress varies across growth stages. This risk can be mitigated through management. This presentation explores common misconceptions with risk and management. Instructor: Dr. Mark Licht, Iowa State University. Wednesday 10:10am and 11:10am.
What Can We Learn from Yield Contests? -- Untangling the most relevant factors explaining yields is critical to identify environments and the management practices that increase crop production within them. With this in mind, the Corn and Sorghum yield contest data was employed to provide insights on the major components limiting attainable yields. We will be showcasing the conclusions that can be made from farmers’ self-reported data, and the relevance of these assessments to guide future research into practical recommendations. Instructor: Ms. Ana Carcedo, Kansas State University. Wednesday 1:00pm and 2:00pm.
Phantom Yield Loss: Myth or Reality -- Whether converting land from conventional to organic grain production would reduce or increase environmental impacts is an open question, especially in the Delmarva region where the majority of conventional grain farmers already employ such conservation practices as no-till or minimum-till soil management, integrated pest management, nutrient management, and cover crops. Given this starting point, we wanted to learn how a switch to organic farming could avoid significant increases in soil disturbance, greater erosion, more runoff, and a deterioration of soil health. Instructor: Dr. Mark Licht, Iowa State University. Wednesday 3:10pm and 4:10pm.
Fine-Tuning Nitrogen Management in Corn – Applying the most profitable rate of nitrogen fertilizer is an ongoing challenge for corn production. Optimal rates may vary by field and even by year depending on weather and crop growth conditions. In this session, we will demonstrate a new tool for determining optimal nitrogen fertilizer rate for corn production in Pennsylvania. This tool estimates total nitrogen fertilizer needs ahead of the season based on site-specific information such as soil organic matter and cover crop inputs. We will also discuss ongoing efforts to inform optimal sidedress nitrogen rate based on early season crop conditions. Instructor: Dr. Daniela Carrijo, Pennsylvania State University. Wednesday 8:00am and 9:00am.
Using ManureDB to View Aggregated Manure Nutrient Data -- Livestock and poultry manure can provide valuable nutrients for cropping systems, however overapplication can lead to the risk of nutrient loss to the environment. Planning for appropriate application rates can be complicated as manure nutrients vary greatly based on species, animal nutrition, animal housing, anure storage and handling, animal age, climate, and manure application method. University of Minnesota researchers in the College of Food and Agriculture Natural Resource Sciences, Extension, and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute, along with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture have publicly released a U.S. manure test database called ManureDB. Sixteen manure testing laboratory partners have submitted over 400,000 manure samples to the ManureDB project, and those numbers continually grow. With manure data from 49 states, spanning over two decades, and a variety of sample details, not only does this new resource improve inputs for nutrient management planning and agricultural modeling, but also allows for other research and analysis. Additional geospatial and statistical features will be added to ManureDB and the data will be eventually annually archived in the National Agricultural Library’s Ag Data Commons. Instructor: Dr. Nancy Bohl Bormann, University of Minnesota. Wednesday 10:10am and 11:10am.
How Much Phosphorus is Required for Achieving Maximum Corn Grain Yield? Luxury Consumption and Implications for Grain Yield -- While luxury consumption is generally only thought to occur for nitrogen and potassium, previous studies have hinted at the possibility of luxury consumption of phosphorus (P) in corn. Luxury consumption of P in corn was confirmed in a controlled grow-room study that prevented confounding interactions between plants and soil. Corn exhibited a two-step P luxury consumption with respect to both max grain and biomass production; i.e. max grain yield was achieved with total uptake of 580 mg/plant, with further P uptake no longer increasing grain yield but still increasing total biomass until uptake of 730 mg P/plant. Further P uptake occurred after 730 mg/plant, but with no increase in total biomass. Excess P uptake decreased grain yield due to less Cu, Zn, and Fe being translocated from roots to grain, which reduced grain protein content. The P uptake value of 580 mg/plant can be used as a target in developing nutrient uptake models and tools that provide a soil-specific agronomic critical P value. Instructor: Dr. Chad Penn, USDA-ARS. Wednesday 1:00pm and 2:00pm.
Foliar Fertilizers for Soybean Production -- This presentation will cover the basics of foliar fertilizers for soybean production, including information about diagnosing nutrient deficiencies, results from recent foliar fertilizer trials, and considerations for making foliar fertilizer applications. Instructor: Dr. Emma Matchum, University of Florida. Tuesday 3:10pm and 4:10pm.
Recent Findings in Soybean Nematode Management in Virginia -- Plant-parasitic nematodes are the most damaging disease pest in Virginia soybeans. Short rotations and fields planted to continuous soybean have resulted in severely damaging populations in some fields. Nematode-resistant varieties provide the best solution to reducing nematode damage but many field populations of SCN (soybean cyst nematode) that have overcome the most common source of SCN resistance (R3 conferred by PI 88788). Soybeans with the Peking source of SCN still consistently perform well in fields where SCN populations have a high frequency of races that have overcome R3 resistance. Soybean resistance to RKN (root-knot nematode) is very effective in fields with damaging levels. Seed treatment and in-furrow nematicide options have shown to be very inconsistent for season-long management of nematodes in soybeans. Results from field trials along with nematode control measures will be presented. Instructor: Dr. David Langston, Virginia Tech. Wednesday 8:00am and 9:00am.
Endangered Species Act: Potential Label Changes -- The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was enacted in 1973 and requires all Federal Agencies to consider the impacts of their decisions on threatened and endangered species and their critical habitat. The ESA only considers impacts to listed species it does not consider impacts to growers. In 2023 the EPA, Office of Pesticide Programs said it would consider the impacts on listed species from all new pesticide registrations and future pesticide re-registration. Considering impacts on endangered and threatened species will have a large impact because there are over 1,800 of these species which occur in all 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. To reduce offsite movement new pesticide labels will include requirements regarding: soil moisture, infield buffers, and conservation practices. Instructor: Dr. Bill Chism, US-EPA (retired). Wednesday 10:10am and 11:10am.
Crash Course on Corn Disease Identification -- Diagnosis is a critical step for making effective disease management decisions, but correct identification can be difficult. In this session we will build skills for improved diagnosis and rating of diseases in corn. Live plant samples and preserved specimens will be used for hand-on disease identification training and interactive disease ratings. This session will also introduce regional diagnostic resources and discuss disease management strategies. Instructors: Dr. Alyssa Koehler, Dr. Isabel Emanuel, and Ms. Maddle Henrickson, University of Delaware. Wednesday 3:10pm and 4:10pm.
Soil and Water
Thinking of $15 Corn and $30 Soybeans but Worried About Losing Soil Heath and Maybe Your Shirt During the Organic Transition? -- The demand for organic grain has outstripped domestic supplies, and large amounts are being imported both as human food and animal feed. Maryland has a large poultry production industry that is ramping up organic poultry production and needs more organically certified grains. These trends have led to consistently attractive prices for organic corn and soybeans. But transitioning to organic grain production is no easy feat. The challenging 3-year process requires using 100% organic approved practices but most likely getting only conventional prices. The learning curve may involve navigating unfamiliar management practices, equipment, allowable chemicals, and markets - not to mention the soil health and financial implications. Join me to learn about our 4-years of research trials (and tribulations) testing different management strategies for the transition period. This session will discuss what we learned to do (and not do) as we attempted to find the Goldilocks strategy of crop, tillage, and cover crops that would best promote both soil health and profits. Instructor: Dr. Ray Weil, University of Maryland. Wednesday 8:00am and 9:00am.
Agricultural Strategies for Mitigating and Adapting to Saltwater Intrusion -- This presentation will highlight some appropriate conservation practices and field management strategies to help mitigate the impacts of coastal flooding and saltwater intrusion on working lands. Instructor: Dr. Christopher Miller, USDA NRCS. Wednesday 10:10am and 11:10am.
Adaptation of Pasture and Hayland Species for Mechanical and Simulated Ruminant Harvest in Appalachia -- In the Appalachian region, overgrazing is a common occurrence, due to continuous grazing and overstocking, leading to increased soil erosion, limited forage availability, decreased animal performance, animal health issues, and water quality and soil health degradation. This talk will summarize a study designed to demonstrate the effects of overgrazing and limited soil nutrient availability on forage species longevity, composition, and production. Through the completion of the study, the presence of adaptive species in certain regions has provided not only ground cover in critical intense rainfall periods but also fills a forage gap that may otherwise be void. These forage species may also prove useful in other parts of the Mid-Atlantic region to address water and forage quality on a much broader scale. Instructor: Mr. Isaac Wolford, USDA NRCS. Wednesday 1:00pm and 2:00pm.
Sustainable Intensification of Agricultural Drainage Systems -- Drainage is essential for agricultural production. Sustainable intensification of agricultural drainage is needed to meet production, environmental, and greenhouse gas goals. This will entail re-designing drainage systems to handle larger precipitation events, manage water through droughts, and reduce nutrient losses. Conservation drainage covers a suite of practices that help achieve these goals and are being implemented throughout the Delmarva. This presentation will go over sustainable intensification of agricultural drainage systems and basic research being conducted on performance of these systems to enhance nutrient use efficiency and improve water quality. Instructor: Mr. Timothy Rosen, ShoreRivers. Wednesday 1:00pm and 2:00pm.
Grow Your Stewardship -- Join the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to learn about the additional funding opportunities available to producers and opportunities for Technical Service Providers (TSPs) through the historic, once-in-a-generation Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and how conserving, maintaining, and restoring our natural resources can improve both the health and wealth of agricultural operations in the future. Instructor: USDA NRCS Staff. Wednesday 3:10pm and 4:10pm.
How Plants Cultivate Soil Microbes to Obtain Nutrients -- This presentation will discuss how plants use soil microbes and endophytes to obtain nutrients in the rhizophagy cycle. The roles of root hairs, trichomes and other plant structures in nitrogen acquisition will also be covered. Instructor: Dr. James White, Rutgers University. Wednesday 8:00am and 9:00am. (1 CEU in Nutrient Management)
Research and Recommendations on Blueberry and Bramble Establishment -- Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries can be profitable crops in the Mid-Atlantic region, but successful establishment is key to achieving good yield and quality early in the life of the planting. Recommended establishment practices for each of these crops will be discussed, including soil preparation, mulching, trellis options, irrigation, fertilization and establishment pruning. Variety selection is another important decision made at establishment; results from blueberry and bramble variety evaluations conducted in Delaware and regionally will be presented. Instructor: Ms. Emmalea Ernest, University of Delaware. Wednesday 10:10am and 11:10am. (1 CEU in Crop Management)
Strawberries at the USDA in Beltsville: New Cultivars, Diseases, Practices, and Perspectives -- For over 100 years, the USDA-ARS strawberry breeding program in Beltsville, MD, has made major contributions to the development of the strawberry as a crop. Emphasis has long been on natural disease resistance and flavor. Recent cultivars include Flavorfest (mid-season), Keepsake (mid-season to late mid-season), Cordial (late-season) and a new early season cultivar to be released and named very soon. Emerging diseases have affected the breeding fields since 2020, identifying selections that are either resistant or carry genes for resistance. Small hand-held tools for evaluating flavor have been compared for reliability and ease of use. Fruit qualities key to perception of freshness have been identified during post-harvest evaluation. Field management protocols have been adjusted to accommodate reduced staff. Our experiences and findings will be shared for discussion. Instructor: Dr. Kim Lewers, USDA ARS. Wednesday 1:00pm and 2:00pm. (1 CEU in Pest Management??)
Spotted Wing Drosophila IPM Best Practices and Updates -- Quick to reproduce and tricky to manage, spotted wing drosophila is the key insect pest of U.S. small fruit production. This presentation will highlight management lessons learned from over a decade of research globally as well as ongoing advancements with the potential to help Mid-Atlantic producers. Instructor: Dr. Kelly Hamby, University of Maryland. Wednesday 3:10pm and 4:10pm. (1 CEU in Pest Management)