Hands-on ‘Soybean College’ set for Aug. 18 in Newport, Ark.

'Soybean College' to provide hands-on training. Myriad of management issues around the crop to be covered.

Mark your calendar for the inaugural 2016 Soybean College on August 18 at the Newport Research Station at Newport, Ark. The event starts at 8:00 a.m. and runs through 5:00 p.m. 

“We’ve been thinking about a more hand-on event for the last couple of years,” says Jeremy Ross, Arkansas Extension soybean specialist. “Time-wise it just never worked out until now. A group of us finally got together in the spring and began hashing out what we could do with a ‘soybean college.’”

What they came up with will be largely hand-on for attendees. “They’ll be able to see new technologies and actually dig in and see how they work, scenarios, rates, and they can ask questions. If they implement these things it’ll improve production, hopefully improve yields and cut some of their costs.

“There has been great response to the idea from university, Extension and industry.”

Registration for the 2016 Soybean College will be $75 per person, and can be completed online at: http://bit.ly/2016ArkSoyCollege. No walkup registrations will be accepted the day of the event.

“With that fee, lunch is provided,” says Ross. “There will also be lots of handouts. Every participant will get a sweep net, a hand lens and, hopefully, other tools that will help them scout for diseases and insects in their own fields.

“Sign-up will be limited to the first 200. The main reason is there will be breakout groups and we want to keep them small. That’ll facilitate learning and interaction. There should be a number of CEUs available for the college.”

Among items on the tentative agenda: New herbicide technologies/resistant pigweed control; herbicide symptomology; post-harvest weed control; soybean growth staging; insect scouting demo; chloride toxicity demo; cover crops and soybean production; resistant frogeye demo; soybean seed treatment demo; and new irrigation technologies.

“With the pigweed issues in the state – especially with PPO-resistance coming on strong – there’s an obvious interest in how to control them. Newport is probably our most intensely studied pigweed location for the past couple of years with Bob Scott and Tom Barber’s work.

“This college will cover all angles of weed control, including symptomology of off-target drift. They’ll come away knowing what, for example, atrazine on soybeans looks like. What about other products on different crops? That’s good, valuable visual training.”

There will be training on recognizing diseases and look at some of the seed treatments. How are trials looking around the state?

Entomologist Gus Lorenz “will have some hands-on insect scouting.

“I’ll be doing hands-on growth and development. We have soybeans from .9 all the way up to a 6.3 so there’s wide range development to learn in.

“Nathan Slaton will address chloride sensitivity, which is hurting beans in some parts of the state. He’ll show an in-field demonstration on includes and excluders with pretty high rates of salt. Folks will learn the proper way to take tissue samples and what parts of the plant to sample depending on the time of year.”

There will be irrigation demonstrations, cover crop demonstrations, and “a host of different things. It’ll be well worth folks’ time,” says Ross.

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