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Bonus Tours for Agronomy Day Have Something for Everyone
Illinois Ag Connection - 07/14/2017

Returning Agronomy Day attendees know the event offers a wealth of information on traditional crop production issues, but this year, a couple of extra tours will be available for farmers looking for something different on Aug. 17.

Want to see an agricultural robot in action? The University of Illinois Energy Farm tour might be for you. Girish Chowdhary will be demonstrating the newest technological advancement in agriculture at his stop. Don Ort will share the stop, showcasing some of the work his group is doing to revolutionize photosynthesis, with the goal of feeding the world more efficiently. The Energy Farm tour will also feature a stop at the university's "agroforestry for food" plots. Sarah Taylor Lovell will explain how perennial trees and shrubs can provide critical ecosystem services while also generating edible and profitable harvests. Additional stops will include a look at the farm's biomass boiler and a presentation on regulating greenhouse gases with soil amendments.

The Energy Farm tour will be concurrent with the four main Agronomy Day tours, with departures at 8 a.m., 9 a.m., and 10 a.m. Attendees can learn more and sign up in the morning at the registration table or contact Sue Overmyer at overmyer@illinois.edu to register early.

Attendees with an interest in vegetable production will want to stick around for the tour of the Vegetable Crops Research Farm from 1:30 to 3 p.m., following the main Agronomy Day tours. The tour will feature presentations on pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and basil, as well as a demonstration of a new method of mushroom production. Agronomy Day participants will need to travel down the road to 2921 First St., Champaign, on their own. Registration is not required, and the tour is open to home gardeners, commercial producers, and the public (no need to attend Agronomy Day). For more information, contact Mohammad Babadoost at babadoos@illinois.edu.

Agronomy Day 2017 is hosted by the Department of Crop Sciences and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois. Main tours and the Energy Farm tour will depart from 4202 South First Street in Savoy. For up-to-date information on speakers, displays, and location, join Agronomy Day 2017 on Facebook or visit the Agronomy Day website.

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