MU event offers insights on crop management

Laura Sweets, extension associate professor and state extension plant pathologist speaks about pest management, one of five main areas of focus. | Hellen Tian/Missouri Business Alert

Agriculture experts from across the state and country converged on Columbia this week for the University of Missouri’s annual Crop Management Conference, held Wednesday and Thursday.

During the two-day conference, speakers and panelists covered topics including crop management, nutrient management, pest management, soil and water management and professional development. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster delivered a lunchtime keynote on Wednesday about the impact of government regulation on farmers’ nutrient management choices.

Kevin Bradley, one of the event’s organizers and a professor of plant sciences at MU, said the conference is one of the most important of its kind in the state, because it has the most participants and covers the most areas. Around 250 participants registered for the conference this year.

Bill Wiebold, a professor of plant sciences at MU, spoke on a panel about the advantages of drone use in agriculture. Wiebold said drones allow people to see the crops from above, and they are not limited by fences and barriers, so farmers can see their fields whenever they need to. Drones can also create new data that farmers and agricultural experts can use. Wiebold said discussing drones at the conference was important because most of the audience was agricultural advisors, and they would be the ones to help farmers utilize the latest technology.

Valerie Tate is the MU Extension agronomy specialist in Linn County. Tate said she comes to the conference every year to learn about the advance technologies in agriculture. Tate enjoyed this year’s pest management panel since it addressed many of the questions she dealt with in her daily work. Tate looks forward to bringing information from the meeting back to farmers in her county.

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