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Everything crops covered at Top Farmer Crop Workshop

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The forty-first annual Top Farmer Crop Workshop will be held July 20-23 in Pfendler Hall at Purdue University.

“Top farmer is designed to help commercial producers achieve their goals through improved management,” said Bruce Erickson, Purdue Extension cropping systems director and workshop coordinator. “We cover everything from the newest information on crop technology and management practices to helping farmers decide if a technology or management practice fits their operation.”

The workshop is a forum to debate cropping strategies with scientists, agribusiness leaders and other commercial producers, Erickson said.

The program will kick off at 3 p.m. (EDT) July 20 with a session designed specifically for farmers to utilize Purdue’s Crop-Linear Programming software presented by Luc Valentin, Craig Dobbins, Alan Miller, Roman Keeney and George Patrick, all from Purdue’s Department of Agriculture Economics.

“When farmers pre-register, a form with questions relating to their farming operation will be mailed to them,” Valentin said. “We ask that participants take the time to complete the form and bring it to the workshop and our teaching assistants will enter that information into the program. Results will be distributed during the workshop and specialists will be available to help farmers interpret what it means.”

Valentin said it’s beneficial for farmers who are planning on making significant changes to their farming operation participate in this program.

“For example, a farmer may have the opportunity to add 900 acres, but isn’t sure how it will affect the rest of the operation,” Valentin explained. “The software helps the farmer recognize some of the unintended consequences.

“It may show that the farmer can spend a certain dollar amount per acre to hire the crop to be custom planted. It may show that a larger planter is needed to get the crop planted in a certain window of time. It may show that if you switch to corn on corn there will not be enough drying capacity. By knowing some of these consequences, the farmer can make better management decisions to get their desired outcome.”

Pre-registration is encouraged due to space limitations, but not necessary. Individuals can register by visiting http://www.coonf.purdue.edu/TOPCROP or calling (765) 494-7220. Registration costs $300 for the first individual representing a farm and $100 for each individual after that. The cost includes two meals, refreshments, the opportunity to test farm plans using the B-21 linear programming analysis and a workshop proceedings binder. A registration discount of $100 is being offered for first-year attendees (only applicable to full registrations).

All Top Farmer Crop Workshop sessions and speakers are available at http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/topfarmer/conference2008.asp .

A few sessions and speakers include:

  • Making your accounting pay its way — Indiana farmers Lori and John Frey have found a double-entry accounting system that has paid its way by identifying the real money associated with the various aspects of their operation.
  • Do financially successful farmers use a different set of management skills? –Purdue Agriculture economist Jason Oliver shares the latest trends found in a survey regarding financial success.
  • Sensors have the potential for fine-tuning nitrogen management — Purdue Extension agronomists Jim Camberato and Bob Nielsen will discuss and demonstrate how active sensors can be used to detect nitrogen deficiency, as well as detection strategies.
  • Volatile weather, volatile prices, managing the risk — Iowa State University agricultural meteorologist Elwynn Taylor will compare what’s happened in the past to the current in regards to weather, prices and risk.
  • Internet-based grain procurement could drive special markets — Jason Tatge, chief executive officer of Farms Technology, will give an overview of Web-based tools that allow farmers to take advantage of intraday future market rallies and automatically execute forward cash commodity sales.
  • How feasible is robotic agriculture? — Simon Blackmore, project manager of FutureFarm Europe and director of UniBots Limited, runs Europe’s farm of tomorrow with guidance, advanced monitoring and precision control systems. Blackmore will talk about the next steps automation will tackle in improving production and efficiency.

Directions to Purdue’s West Lafayette campus are available at http://www.purdue.edu/campus_map/
For questions and more information regarding the workshop, contact Erickson at (765) 494-9557 or berickso@purdue.edu . For information about registration, contact Tom Robertson at (765) 494-7220 or tlrobertson@purdue.edu

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