Invited speakers

  • Anita Dille
    professor, weed ecology, Agronomy, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

    Dr. Anita Dille is a Professor of Weed Ecology at Kansas State University. She conducts research to understand weed emergence, growth, competition, and seedbank characteristics of important weed species in Kansas, and uses that information to evaluate how cover crops, herbicide programs, and tillage can be combined within integrated weed management programs for their control. Anita received her BSc and MS degrees in Crop Science (weed science) at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, and her PhD in Agronomy (weed science) at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. She has been teaching Weed Science courses and conducting research in the Agronomy Department at Kansas State University since 2000.

    Presentation title: Integrating cover crops for weed suppression into a corn- soybean cropping system

    Presentation times:
    Session D - Wednesday, 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM
    Session E - Wednesday, 2:00 PM - 2:50 PM

  • Newell Kitchen
    soil scientist, USDA-ARS, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

    Newell R. Kitchen is a Soil Scientist with USDA ARS and Adjunct Professor at the University of Missouri. He received his B.Sc. degree from Brigham Young University, M.Sc degree from University of Missouri, and his Ph.D. (1990) degree in Crop and Soil Sciences from Colorado State University. He served as the 2011 President of the American Society of Agronomy. He was elected as Fellow for the American Society of Agronomy (2007) and the Soil Science Society of America (2008). Much of his research focuses on quantifying temporal and spatial variability in crops and soils for timely site-specific management. His research is documented in over 300 technical publications.

    Presentation title: Driving at night wearing sunglasses: Will corn nitrogen recommendations ever get better?

    Presentation times:
    Session F - Wednesday, 3:10 PM - 4:00 PM
    Session G - Wednesday, 4:10 PM - 5:00 PM

  • Péter Kovács
    assistant professor, Precision Ag Cropping Systems, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD

    Péter Kovács is an Assistant Professor in the Agronomy, Horticulture, and Plant Science Department at South Dakota State University. His research interest is Precision Agriculture and Cropping Systems. The research group focuses to improve production systems through understanding interactions between genetics, environment and management practices. The program also seeks ways to integrate new and upcoming technologies into production practices to manage within-field variability. Dr. Kovács earned his PhD degree from Purdue University and his MSc degrees from Cranfield University (UK), and Szent István University (Hungary).

    Presentation title: Agronomic implications of new planter technologies

    Presentation times:
    Session B - Wednesday, 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM
    Session C - Wednesday, 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

  • Charles Lynch
    professor, Epidemiology and medical director and principal investigator, State Health Registry of Iowa, University of Iowa, Iowa CIty, IA

    Chuck Lynch is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology in the College of Public Health at The University of Iowa. He has been a faculty member at The University of Iowa since 1986. Since 1990, he has been Principal Investigator of the State Health Registry of Iowa, Iowa's statewide cancer surveillance program. From 1992-2018, he was the Iowa Director for the Agricultural Health Study. Since 1994, he has been the leader of the Cancer Epidemiology and Population Science program of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. His primary research interests include the cancer surveillance, cancer epidemiology, and environmental epidemiology.

    Presentation title: Glyphosate and cancer: Roles of agricultural health study and IARC

    Presentation times:
    Session D - Wednesday, 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM
    Session E - Wednesday, 2:00 PM - 2:50 PM
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  • Justin McMechan
    assistant professor and crop protection and cropping systems specialist, University of Nebraska, Ithaca, NE

    Anthony “Justin” McMechan is a Crop Protection and Cropping Systems Specialist located at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center near Ithaca, NE. In 2016, Justin graduated with a Ph.D. in Entomology and Doctor of Plant Health degree from the University of Nebraska. Both of these degrees were centered around multidisciplinary research and he has made this a fundamental part of his program at UNL. His lab currently focuses on pest and beneficial insects in cover crop systems, evaluating hail damage in row crops, and understanding emerging problems such as ear development issues in corn and soybean gall midge. Dr. McMechan utilizes a wide range of technologies in his extension program such as infographics, time-lapse photography and Go-Pro cameras to develop standalone products to reach his clientele and avoid the technical jargon that comes with research.

    Presentation title: Soybean gall midge: Ecology and potential management strategies

    Presentation times:
    Session A - Wednesday, 9:00 AM - 9:50 AM
    Session B - Wednesday, 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

  • Robert Mullen
    Director of Agronomy, Nutrien, Wooster, OH

    Dr. Robert Mullen is the Director of Agronomy with Nutrien. Previously, he was the Director of Agronomy for Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan since June 2011. Prior to joining PCS, he was an Associate Professor of Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management at Ohio State University/Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) since April 2004. Dr. Mullen received his B.S. in Ag Business (with a chemistry minor) at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma in 1998 as well as his M.S. in Plant and Soil Science and Ph.D. in Soil Science from Oklahoma State University in 2001 and 2003, respectively. Dr. Mullen has published two book chapters, 39 peer-reviewed journal articles, and over 230 extension bulletin/technical reports. He has served in an editorial role with two different scientific journals (Agronomy Journal, Crop Management) continuously since 2004.

    Presentation title: Minerals to crop nutrients – The fertilizer industry

    Presentation times:
    Session J - Thursday, 10:10 AM - 11:00 AM
    Session K - Thursday, 11:10 AM - 12:00 PM

  • Robin Pruisner
    state entomologist and ag security coordinator, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, Ankeny, IA

    Robin Pruisner was appointed the State Entomologist and Bureau Chief of Entomology and Plant Science in the Consumer Protection Division of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship by Secretary of Agriculture Patty Judge in March of 2003. Pruisner also serves as the Ag Security Coordinator, focused on agricultural emergency management. Pruisner brought an array of experience to the job, varying from a rigid background in environmental regulations in the animal feeding operations program with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, to independent consultant work, as well as post-collegiate education and outreach to certified crop advisors via the Iowa State University Extension Agribusiness Education Program. Pruisner graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Entomology and Pest Management. Oddly enough, she finds corn rootworms intriguing and agricultural policy development downright fascinating. Raised on a family farm in Grundy County, she currently lives in McCallsburg on with her husband and five bee hives.

    Presentation title: Is Cannabis really the right crop for you?

    Presentation times:
    Session J - Thursday, 10:10 AM - 11:00 AM
    Session K - Thursday, 11:10 AM - 12:00 PM

  • Damon Smith
    associate professor and Extension Specialist, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Madison, WI

    Damon Smith is an Associate Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist at UW-Madison. Damon’s responsibilities include research efforts that focus on improving our understanding of the epidemiology of plant pathogens in order to develop better management recommendations for the sustainable management of field and forage crop diseases. Damon is a native of Western New York State. He earned his B.S. in Biological Sciences at the State University of New York, College at Geneseo, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from North Carolina State University. Prior to Damon’s appointment at UW he was an assistant professor and extension specialist at Oklahoma State University for 5 years.

    Presentation title: ‘App’-riculture: Putting plant disease prediction in the hands of farmers

    Presentation times:
    Session L - Thursday, 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM
    Session M - Thursday, 2:00 PM - 2:50 PM

  • M. Scott Wells
    assistant professor, Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN

    My applied research program provides research-based technologies that address the sustainable intensification of agriculture. Such technologies include cover crop interseeding into corn and soybean cropping systems, developing agronomic management of new winter oilseed relay cropping systems, evaluating optimal management strategies for alfalfa production systems, and assessing the fate of nitrogen in annual and perennial cropping systems. I also support the alfalfa and corn silage variety-testing programs. In conjunction with my research programs, I also provide statewide educational leadership for both the University of Minnesota Forage Extension Team and the Cover Crop Team.

    Presentation title: Cover crop interseeding: A new pathway for enhanced adoption

    Presentation times:
    Session J - Thursday, 10:10 AM - 11:00 AM
    Session K - Thursday, 11:10 AM - 12:00 PM