YieldSmart 2016 – Optimizing Your Crop Production System


Gain a better understanding of the principles of Yield and how changes in the system and management decisions are interconnected and impact the performance potential in the future. If you want to have a better handle on this, join us for YieldSmart 2016.

The FarmSmart Ag Conference is once again offering a full day, in-depth workshop lead by Jerry Hatfield, Laboratory Director and Supervisory Plant Physiologist, US Department of Agriculture. Dr. Hatfield research emphasis on the interactions among the components of the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum and their linkage to air, water and soil quality. His focus has been on the evaluation of farming systems and their response to water and nitrogen interactions across soils. Through lecture, demonstration, workshops, farmer panels and open Q&A sessions, this full day program will help participants understand where yield comes from and how we can move to more resilient systems by following steps and always monitoring the progress.

We will be returning to the Manulife Sportsplex at RIM Park in Waterloo at 2001 University Ave. E. on Friday, January 22, 2016.

To register please go to our online registration for FarmSmart events at www.farmsmartconference.com, but if you must call to register, please call 1-877-424-1300. The AICC will assist you.

Approved CEUs for YieldSmart:          2.0  NM          4.0 SW           1.5 CM


8:50    Welcome

9:00   Developing a YieldSmart Systems for the Farm
             Jerry L. Hatfield, Plant Physiologist USDA
Advanced crop genetics provide high yield potential, but the environment and our management of the system are a large part of achieving that yield potential. In crop production there are a wide range of management decisions that can be made. Decision options change as crop growth advances, and later decisions may be influenced by early decisions. Decisions must be made to optimize productivity while enhancing long term soil health and resiliency.

The goal of this session is to explore how to optimize genetic potential by understanding:

  • The current environment the crop is growing in at the various stages of development?
  • What are the various management windows within and between seasons?
  • What short vs long term management decisions will optimize productivity while realizing environmental benefits?
  • What are the decisions that can be made within each management window?
  • How do early decisions impact later decisions?
  • What observations of the crop are needed to make the right decisions?


10:45   Engaging Producers to Foster YieldSmart Agriculture
               Jerry L. Hatfield and Michael McNeill

This session will challenge YieldSmart participants to be part of the discussion of how to achieve optimized crop production which balances profitability with environmental stewardship.

  • Producer experiences and interactions
  • Questions and answers to build YieldSmart
  • The steps that need to be taken to optimize current production practices and improve future practices optimizing profitability and reducing environmental footprint

11:45   Producer Feedback
              Jerry L. Hatfield
Through group table discussions, participants will explore the answers to a series of questions designed to optimize current and future crop production. Groups will share their responses with the whole audience.

12:15    Lunch – Hot Meal Provided

1:15     Putting Theory into Practice: Experiences of a Consultant
             Michael McNeill, crop consultant from Algona, Iowa.
Michael will describe what YieldSmart means from his perspective, and how an ag consultant turns theory into practice when advising a farmer.

An ag consultant’s job is to gather information from the field and the farmer, and recommend management options to achieve the client’s goals.

What information is needed?

How do you use information to build an effective recommendation for a client?

1:45    Putting Theory into Practice: Experiences of a Farmer
             Fred Thenen, farmer from Tekonsha, Michigan
Farmers have an inherent sense of what their fields are capable of. They keep an ever evolving story in their minds of what they’ve seen in their fields over the years, and in their neighbor’s fields. Where do they look to find the details that will help them improve yields? How do they bring together the pieces that will help them make profitable changes to their management practices? Fred will describe how he puts YieldSmart into practice on his farm, and how he has improved his soil and profits.

2:45     The Ontario Connection –  Stefan Zehetner, Hensall, Mike Cornelissen, Watford

Ontario farmers who have been putting the concepts of YieldSmart into practice.

3:45      Panel Discussion with the days speakers


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