Register soon for these outstanding Extension webinars
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collection cow beans peaches forest environment
University of Illinois Extension Winter Webinars 
 
 
 

WINTER LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
University of Illinois Extension is offering several virtual agriculture, environment, and horticulture webinars this winter. Click the title to learn more and register online. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, contact the coordinator of the event.

 
bushels of shelled corn
 
 

FIELD CROP PRODUCTION

January 7: Midwinter Grain Management
Learn how to care for the grain in the bins and the employees who manage it in this virtual webinar hosted by the Grain Handling Safety Coalition. Learn moisture migration, aeration, quality management, and the unique hazards of handling grain in the winter, including snow removal, crush injuries, and exposure dangers. Visit The Grain Handling Safety Coalition site to learn more and receive training and educational materials. The event is free.

February 1: CropFlix: Crop Management Conference
CropFlix is binge-worthy content for corn and soybean producers. Choose the topics that interest you and watch on demand throughout February on our new Extension Moodle learning platform. We've doubled the number of offerings, with a variety of research updates, recommendations for best practices, climate projections, and more. Participants will have access to two live virtual town hall meetings to ask questions and engage with the presenters. Participants may earn more than 10 Certified Crop Advisor CEUs. Cost is $50. Contact: Chelsea Harbach, harbach2@illinois.edu.

January - Spring: Illinois Pesticide Safety Education Program
All University of Illinois Extension Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) training and testing is online through spring 2021. Online, on-demand training courses allow participants to complete the training on their own schedule and at their own pace. The courses, taught by PSEP specialists, are engaging and provide exam-preparation questions throughout. Participants may also purchase printed self-study training publications for each license category at Pubs Plus. The workbooks align with the manuals and provide sample questions. Contact: Michelle Wiesbrook, buesinge@illinois.edu.

Currently Available

  • Private Applicator Online Training ($45), Testing ($12)
  • General Standards Training ($45), Testing ($12)
  • Aerial General Standards Testing Only ($12)
  • Dealer Testing Only ($12)
  • Field Crops Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • Rights-of-Way Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • Vegetable Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • Demonstration and Research Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • Private Grain Fumigation Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • Grain Facility Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • Seed Treatment Testing Only ($12)

Coming Soon

  • Jan. 15: Turfgrass Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • Jan. 15: OrnamentalsTraining ($25), Testing ($12)
  • Feb. 1: Aquatics Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • Feb. 1: Mosquito Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • March 1: Plant Management Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • March 1: Forest Testing Only ($12)
  • March 1: Fruit Crops Testing Only ($12)
  • March 1: Livestock Testing Only ($12)
  • March 1: Sewer Line Root Testing Only ($12)
  • March 1: Soil Fumigation Testing Only ($12)

February - March: Northwest Illinois Agronomy Summit: Updates in Nutrient and Pest Management
Experts from University of Illinois and University of Wisconsin-Madison will provide new strategies for pest management, cover crop management, grain safety, and more. Cost $5/session or $20 for all sessions. Contact: Phillip Alberti, palberti@illinois.edu.

  • February 16 | 1 PM: Climate Change and Impacts in Northwest Illinois
    State Climatologist Trent Ford will talk about climate change (historical and future) in Northwest Illinois and what it means for producers. Presenter: Trent Ford, Illinois State Climatologist
  • February 23 | 1 PM: Corn Rootworm Management
    Western and northern corn rootworm populations in Illinois continue to gradually develop resistance to the Bt traits available for its control. Learn resistance development in Illinois and management recommendations for these pests. Presenter: Nick Seiter, Research Assistant Professor and Faculty Extension Specialist, University of Illinois
  • February 25 | 1 PM: Cover Crops in Northern IL/Southern WI and Combine Cleaning to Reduce Weed Seed Movement
    Cover crops provide many benefits to producers, but can be challenging to establish in a corn-soybean rotation; however, with a little research and holistic crop rotation management, there are many opportunities to incorporate cover crops into a crop rotation. Fall combine cleaning can go a long way to stopping the spread of waterhemp. Presenter: Dan Smith, UW Madison Southwest Outreach Specialist
  • March 2 | 1 PM: Updates in Disease Management
    Each year provides a variety of challenges when it comes to crop diseases and management strategies. Illinois Extension Specialist Nathan Kleczewski will recap some of the bigger culprits in 2020, what research is being done, and how producers may be able to combat them. Presenter: Nathan Kleczewski, Research Assistant Professor and Faculty Extension Specialist, University of Illinois
  • March 4 | 1 PM: Grain Bin Entry
    Salah Issa will provide a review of grain storage conditions, in addition to providing a review of proper grain bin entry protocols. Presenter: Salah Issa, Assistant Professor of Industrial Safety and Health, University of Illinois
  • March 9 | 1 PM: Will the Novel Soybean Herbicide Tolerance Traits Solve the Pigweed and Ragweed Problem?
    Rodrigo Werle will provide the latest research evaluating integrated strategies for waterhemp and giant ragweed management in soybean production. Presenter: Rodrigo Werle, UW Madison, Cropping Systems Weed Scientist and Extension Specialist
  • March 11 | 1 PM: The Importance of Scouting to Mitigate Risk for Fungicide Resistance Development
    The plant disease triangle is a fundamental concept in the study of plant diseases. Freshen up your knowledge and understanding of the plant disease triangle so that you can use this tool for effective plant disease prediction and management during the growing season. Presenter: Chelsea Harbach, Extension Educator, University of Illinois Extension
 
herd of cattle
 
 

LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION

January 26 – 28: Driftless Region Beef Conference
Frank Mitloehner, professor and air quality specialist at UC-Davis, will discuss greenhouse gases and the sustainability of beef cattle production. His presentation will explain factors of climate change, livestock impacts, and the importance of ruminant livestock in the midst of growing pressures from environmental groups. Additional topics include building farm resiliency for surviving volatile times, consumers' needs and wants, antibiotic resistance in the beef industry, potential beef cattle pandemic, and the 2021 market outlook. Additional presenters include: Kevin Bernhardt, Shawn Darcy, Paul Plummer, Danelle Bickett-Wedde, and Brenda Boetel. Cost is $15. Registration is required. Contact: Jay Solomon, jssolomo@illinois.edu and Travis Meteer, wmeteer@gmail.com.

February 9: Dudley Smith Farm Winter Meeting
An all-star lineup will be featured at this year's virtual meeting discussing the latest research in nutrient management, cover crops, soil health, and beef cattle management. Certified Crop Advisors can earn continuing education units by attending. There is no cost. Registration is required. Contact: Christian County Extension Office, 217-287-7246.

January - March: Certified Livestock Manager Training
Virtual Certified Livestock Manager training is now available. There will be two training options this year: a new online self-paced training or one of four live virtual webinars. Both options will provide Illinois livestock producers the manure management training they need to meet the requirements of the state's Livestock Management Facilities Act. Cost is $40. Contact: Jay Solomon, jssolomo@illinois.edu.

March 3, 10, 17, 24: Northwest Illinois Grazing Conference: Reinvigorating Pastures and Expanding Grazing
The Northwest Illinois Grazing Conference runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. every Wednesday in March. Cost is $5 per session or $15 for the full conference. Contact: Jay Solomon, jssolomo@illinois.edu

  • March 3: Am I a Regenerative Grazier? by Laura Paine, UW Extension
  • March 10: Be Creative: Identifying Alternative Grazing Opportunities by Teresa Steckler, Illinois Extension
  • March 17: Extending the Grazing Season by Travis Meteer, Illinois Extension
  • March 24: Encouraging Maximum Grazing and Weed Control: Putting the Pieces Together by Gene Schriefer, UW Extension
 
forest trees
 
 

FORESTRY

January 7 – 22: Urban Tree Conference
Trees are a valuable asset to nature, but they are often overlooked in urban settings. Trees cool buildings with their shade and clean the air and water through filtration. Urban trees withstand pollution, poor soils, limited legroom for roots, and pressure from insects and disease. The six-day, 18-session virtual conference will cover all aspects of urban tree planning, implementation, and management. The Illinois Arborist Association has approved this workshop to fulfill mandatory continuing education requirements. Cost is $10/day or $50 for all sessions. Fee waivers are available. Contact: Reid Young, ryoun@Illinois.edu.

February 1 - 5: Winter Tree Identification
Extension Forester Chris Evans will host a three-part webinar series on winter tree identification with sessions focusing on the characteristics used in identification, terminology, and techniques and tools for identifying unknown tree species. Contact: Chris Evans, cwevans@illinois.edu 

 
orange flowers in the field
 
 

HOME, COMMUNITY, COMMERCIAL HORTICULTURE 

January 20 | 1 PM: How to Start a Community Garden
Access of healthy food has a major influence on overall health and well-being of individuals and families. Many families facing food access issues may also be facing issues of limited transportation, limited financial resources, and other realities of poverty. Fight hunger by planting community gardens. Contact: Elaine Craver,
ecraver@illinois.edu.

January 21 | 6 PM: Bi-State Garden Conference
Cost is $10. Contact: Ryan Pankau, rcpankau@illinois.edu. Offered by Illinois and Purdue University Extensions, the Bi-State Garden Conference will include the
Perennial Plant of the Year by Martha Smith, and Growing Ginger, Horseradish, Luffa, Artichokes, and More by Erin Harper.

Four Seasons Gardening Series
Webinars are free, but registration is required and space is limited. 

Growing Great Vegetables Series
Cost is $10 for all sessions. Contact: Ken Johnson, kjohnso@illinois.edu. 

Gardening in the Air Series
Contact: Martha Smith, smithma@illinois.edu.

March 13: Garden Day
This annual event in Central Illinois will include popular gardening topics, including tree health, gardens to attract hummingbirds, sustainable water practices, starting seeds, and four-season garden favorites. Donations accepted. Contact: Erin Harper, harper7@illinois.edu.

 
peaches
 
 

SPECIALTY CROP PRODUCTION

January 6 - 8: Illinois Specialty Crop Conference
The conference provides a education, information, and networking for Illinois specialty growers during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Join us as we connect every segment of the fresh produce supply chain, including growers, shippers, fresh-cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, suppliers, and partners. Cost is $15 for association members; $100 for public. Contact: Raghela Scavuzzo, RScavuzzo@ilfb.org.

February 10 | 8 AM - 4 PM: Southern Illinois Fruit and Vegetable School
This virtual conference will combine the Southwestern Illinois Tree Fruit School and the Southern Illinois Small Fruit and Vegetable School. There is no cost. Contact: Elizabeth Wahle, wahle@illinois.edu. Topics include:

  • Peach and Apple Disease Update, Mohammad Babadoost
  • Peach and Apple Insect Update, Kacie Athey
  • Pruning Blueberries, Pat Byers and Elizabeth Wahle
  • Research Update: Trellising Rasperries, Bronwyn Aly
  • Climate Trends: Past and Present, Trent Ford
  • Cucurbit Crop Diseases, Mohammad Babadoost
  • Solanaceous Crop Diseases, Mohammad Babadoost
  • Insect Control in Sweet Corn, Kacie Athey
  • Pumpkin Variety Trial, Nathan Johanning
  • Tomato Field Production, Katie Bell

February 12, 18, 19, 25, 26: 25th Annual Stateline Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference
These live online webinars will feature fruit and vegetable disease and insect updates from Mohammad Babadoost and Kacie Athey, Illinois Extension specialists.
The cost for the entire program (Thursday and Friday sessions) is $20. Participants may also register just for Thursday sessions ($10) or Friday sessions ($15). Participants will receive access to the live presentations, handouts, and recordings of the sessions. Contact: Grant McCarty, gmccarty@illinois.edu

  • Thursday, February 18 | 1-3:30 PM: Fruit Track
    • Apple Insect Pests and Control Options
    • Observations in 2020 and Recommendations for 2021 Related Apple and Cherry Diseases
  • Thursday, February 25 | 1-3:30 PM: Vegetable Track
    • Cucurbit Insect Pests: Conventional and Cultural Control Techniques
    • Outcomes of the Recent Research Studies on Cucurbit and Tomato Diseases

Complementary webinars offered on Fridays in February:

  • Friday, February 12 | Noon: Diversify Your Farm with Hard Cider Production, Carla Snyder, Penn State Extension
  • Friday, February 19 | Noon: Pumpkin Production: Variety Selection and Weed Management, Nathan Johanning, Illinois Extension
  • Friday, February 26 | Noon: High Tunnel Tomato Production Updates, Bronwyn Aly, Illinois Extension

March 10: Gateway Green Industry Conference
This conference is for all green industry professionals. Continuing education units are available for the International Society of Arboriculture, the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association, the Illinois Park & Recreation Association, and the Certified Golf Course Superintendent. Save the date. Additional information soon. Contact: Elizabeth Wahle, wahle@illinois.edu.

 
globe with communities
 
 

ENVIRONMENT

January 6 | 3 PM: Create a Winter Bird Haven
Gardens are a haven for birds year-round. Lots of wildlife use yards for over-wintering and provide a delightful spectacle on cold days. Attracting birds to the winter landscape can be incredibly rewarding for all ages. Contact: Chris Enroth at cenroth@illinois.edu.

January 7 | Noon: A Dose of Nature in a Time of COVID
Exposure to places that include access to green infrastructure and other forms of nature can reduce the symptoms of stress and promote recovery from mental fatigue. Some of the research has produced startling results: individuals who have more exposure to urban nature live longer, are less likely to produce low-birth-weight babies, and engage in less aggression and violence. Contact: Martha Smith, smithma@illinois.edu.

January 14 | Noon: Children and Nature
Andrea Faber Taylor has researched the benefits of nature experiences for children’s health. She is passionate about supporting children’s connection to nature. Her most recent research indicated a link between the frequency with which kindergartners used greenspaces during the school day and their capacity for self-regulation. Contact: Martha Smith, smithma@illinois.edu.

January 14 | 1 PM: Everyday Environment Webinar: Is Radon Still an Issue?
Radon awareness, testing, and mitigation for homes has been discussed for many years. Why are we talking about it now? Is radon still an issue of concern in Illinois homes? As the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers, radon continues to be the odorless, radioactive gas silently sneaking into many homes. Contact: Jay Solomon, jssolomo@illinois.edu.

February 11 | 1 PM: Everyday Environment Webinar: Waste to Renewable Energy
Anaerobic digestion technology is used as a solution to divert food waste from the landfill. Farmers also utilize the technology to capture methane emissions associated with the management of liquid manures. Contact: Ashley Belle, abelle@illinois.edu.

March 11 | 1 PM: Everyday Environment Webinar: Severe Weather
Spring brings severe weather back to Illinois and the Midwest. Thunderstorms pack high winds, heavy rain, lightning, and potentially tornadoes. Contact: Duane Friend, friend@illinois.edu.

 
 
 
 
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