AP NEWS

‘INfield Advantage’ offers support for corn, soybean producers

April 12, 2019

La PORTE — The La Porte County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will be holding their 2019 INfield Advantage 2.0 meeting on Tuesday at the SWCD office in La Porte from 7 to 9:15 a.m.

INField Advantage is a program sponsored by the Indiana Department of Agriculture and the Indiana Corn and Soybean Alliance.

“It’s a great program that offers technical support and some funding to local producers that will enable them to make informed decisions about the nutrient inputs they are using on their corn and soybean fields,” said Nicole Messacar, SWCD’s Education Coordinator.

According to Messacar, the meeting will be focused on some emerging research on the use of sulfur on soybeans. The meeting will give farmers a chance to talk to other farmers about their experiences with the program, and learn about some of the new tiers being offered this year.

This year, the SWCD are offering drone fly-overs early in the season, which will allow producers to make nutrient application decisions earlier.

“This meeting will hopefully serve as a launching point for more conversations and regular meetings where farmers have data that they can share with one another to make more informed decision,” said Messacar.

INfield Advantage has split the state up into six regions. A Regional Coordinator will work in each region to provide additional technical and agronomical support to the growers and the local groups. Part of their job will be to work with local partners but also reaching out and working with the agribusiness community.

There will be three tiers focusing on improved soil health and water quality. Tier one is about guided stalk sampling that will work closely with area Extension Educators to fly unmanned aircrafts.

“What we are hoping to do is to have the Tier One fields flown by our program with a fixed-wing plane two weeks after tasseling, but have them flown earlier than that, probably early to mid-June with using one of the Extension drones. That imagery would then be released to the grower immediately,” INfield Advantage State Coordinator Meg Leader said.

Tier two will center around check strips and split fields which are something the growers are often doing on their own. This brand new tier is designed for growers who do not necessarily want to do a replicated strip trial, or may lack the equipment to do so.

Tier three will be for growers interested in doing strip trials. The Regional Coordinator will be available to sit down with the grower and help them through the process of producing a successful replicated strip trial. This will be especially beneficial for growers who are partnered with local programs who do not provide planning assistance for executing strip trials.

The SWCD is encouraging all local growers to attend the meeting.

“We hope that it will be informative and engaging for local farmers. We would love to have every farmer in the County take advantage of the program,” Messacar said.

Those interested in registering for the 2019 INfield Advantage 2.0 Meeting should contact Chris Haven at chavens@laportecounty.org or call 326-6808 ext. 2116.