Crop Advantage Series

January 3, 2020 | Burlington, Iowa

Crop Advantage meetings provide a solid foundation of current, research-based crop production information to help make smart, informed decisions in the farming operation.

84% of attendees responding to follow-up surveys said information from Crop Advantage would likely save them between $5 and $20 per acre.

Source: 2016 statewide series evaluation

"Iowa State staff are in touch with the ‘boots on the ground’ and do an excellent job.."

Burlington post-meeting evaluation, 2017

Private pesticide applicator recertification

Crop Advantage meetings are approved for recertification for Iowa private pesticide applicators. Applicators must attend the entire meeting (including at least one pest management topic) to receive recertification credit. Recertification is included in meeting registration.

Continuing education

CCA logo

This meeting is approved for continuing education credits for Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs). Credits awarded will depend on workshop sessions attended during the program. Program listings use the following credit designations: CM-crop management, PM-pest management, NM-nutrient management, SW-soil and water. All presentations are 1.0 credit.

The Burlington Crop Advantage is presented in cooperation with Merschman Seeds, Inc., the Iowa Corn Growers Association and University of Illinois Extension.



January 3, 2020

Registration check-in 8:30 AM.
Program begins at 8:50 AM and concludes at 4:00 PM.


Comfort Suites
1708 Stonegate Center Drive, Burlington, IA 52601

Program for Burlington

Friday, January 3, 2020Print the program

8:30 am Registration opens
8:50 am Welcome – Virgil Schmitt, Extension field agronomist; Chelsea Harbach, Extension educator, University of Illinois Extension; Joe Merschman, president, Merschman Seeds, Inc.
9:00 am Changes to corn and soybean planting recommendations – Mark Licht, Extension cropping systems specialist (CM)
10:00 am Weed management in 2020 – Aaron Hager, Extension weed management specialist, University of Illinois (PM)
10:50 am Break
11:10 am 2020 Crop market outlook: Trade, tariffs, payments and the impact on farmers – Chad Hart, Extension agricultural economist (CM)
12:00 pm Lunch (provided)
1:00 pm Session A (select one topic)
Corn Nitrogen Rate Calculator: The science that drives it – John Sawyer, Extension soil fertility specialist (NM)
Rules and regulations of hemp production – Robin Pruisner, state entomologist and ag security coordinator, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship (CM)
Simplified cover crop recommendations for beginners – Mark Licht, Extension cropping systems specialist (SW)
Update on tar spot of corn – Nathan Kleczewski, Extension field crop plant pathologist, University of Illinois (PM)
2:00 pm Session B (select one topic)
2018 Farm Bill: Rules and decision aids – Charles Brown, Extension farm management field specialist (CM)
How to tell our story in agriculture – Kathy Vance, director, ISU Extension and Outreach – Louisa County
Impact of variable yields on P and K removal, soil-test values, and application rates for next year – Antonio Mallarino, Extension soil fertility specialist (NM)
Update on field crop insects and emerging pests – Erin Hodgson, Extension entomologist (PM)
2:50 pm Break
3:10 pm Session C (select one topic)
Grain drying and storage 101 – Kristina TeBockhorst, Extension agricultural engineering field specialist (CM)
Iowa farm business numbers on profitability and costs – Charles Brown, Extension farm management field specialist (CM)
Iowa Private Pesticide Applicator Continuing Instruction Course – Virgil Schmitt, Extension field agronomist
Utilizing cover crops as a forage resource – Patrick Wall, Extension beef field specialist (SW)
4:00 pm Meeting adjourns



  • $50
    Early registration, prior to midnight, December 27, 2019
  • $60
    Late or on-site registration
  • Registration includes lunch, proceedings booklet, refreshment breaks, private pesticide applicator recertification and CCA credits.


  • Cancellations requesting a refund must be received no later than 3 days prior to the meeting (except weather related).
  • Confirmation of registration and receipts are sent via email. Please provide a valid email address when registering.
  • For assistance with registration, receipts, cancellation or questions on the status of your registration please contact ANR Program Services at (515) 294-6429 or


  • If weather conditions cause a change in meeting plans a notice will be posted on this webpage and provided to local media and radio stations. Any decisions regarding holding the meeting will be announced before 6:00 AM the day of the meeting. Meetings will not be rescheduled. Those registered may transfer to another location or request a refund.

Meeting hosts

Virgil Schmitt

Virgil Schmitt
Extension field agronomist
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
(563) 260-3721

Josh Michel

Josh Michel
Extension field agronomist
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
(319) 523-2371

Rebecca Vittetoe

Rebecca Vittetoe
Extension field agronomist
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
(712) 540-3319

Chelsea Harbach

Chelsea Harbach
Extension Educator, Commercial Agriculture
University of Illinois Extension
(309) 734-1098