Tilled fields peeked out from beneath the snow this week as warm weather reminded farmers that spring planting is right around the corner.
In preparation for the season, the University of Minnesota is having its third annual Winter Crops Day and Small Grain Tour later this month.
"We have a lot of meetings with farmers this time of year," said Liz Stahl, a crops educator with the University of Minnesota?Extension. "They're getting prepared for the upcoming growing season, but they're not in the field. It's a good time to have meetings."
The Winter Crops Day and Small Grains Tour will provide information and interactive presentations to area farmers. The first half of the day will include presentations from University of Minnesota Extension educators focusing on corn and soybean production.
"Getting information to the growers is the ultimate goal," Stahl said.
Presentations will be based on crop research currently under way at the University of Minnesota. Topics range widely from insect management to economics and aim to update growers on the findings of the research.
WHEN: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday
(registration is at 8:30 a.m.)
WHERE: Slayton Pizza Ranch
"We highlight projects we are doing at the University of Minnesota," Stahl said. "We also talk about issues that should be pertinent to growers."
In addition to research presentations, Extension educator Dave Bau will provide event-goers with an update on economics for 2011 that will help farmers better budget for the coming year.
"He's going to look at corn and soybean budgets and possibly other small-grain budgets," Stahl said. "It helps (farmers) evaluate where they need to budget certain things."
During lunch the Farm Service Agency will provide an overview of its new programs available to producers in the region. Following lunch, a group of Extension educators traveling southwest Minnesota as part of the Extension's Small Grain Tour will lead discussions with farmers. The Small Grain Tour will provide information on topics including wheat production, variety selection, disease management and soil fertility.
"There is a lot of research that goes into the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and the Corn-Growers Association," Stahl said. "It's meetings like this that give us the opportunity to get that out to producers so growers can see where their money is being spent."
The program has grown each year, Stahl said, as more farmers realize the value in the information provided.
"If you are a producer interested in learning about the latest research-based information to help optimize corn, soybean and small grain production, or someone who works with producers, this program is for you," Stahl said.