Improving Fields and Boosting Yields

Bradford Research Center set to host two events for Missouri producers

Peter Scharf shares research results with producers.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Want to boost yields, improve control of weeds and insects, maintain soil health and see the latest agricultural products and research? Bradford Research Center, near Columbia, Mo. is hosting two events July 12 where attendees can find answers to those questions, connect to experts, explore field trials and see the latest agricultural products.

Bradford is part of a network of research centers across Missouri, extending the College of Agriculture Food and Natural Resources’ (CAFNR) research to nearly 14,000 acres to meet the regional research and demonstration needs of agricultural producers and natural resource managers.

The annual Pest Management Field Day begins at 8:30 a.m. and offers guided wagon tours, feature presentations of research results and recent developments by university weed scientists, entomologists, plant pathologists and agronomists.

Pest management topics include:

  • Upcoming herbicide-resistant crops such as dicamba-resistant, HPPD-resistant and 2, 4-D resistant soybeans;
  • Recommendations for controlling glyphosate-resistant waterhemp and giant ragweed;
  • Soybean response to drift from growth regulator herbicides;
  • Interactions between soil-borne pathogens and continuous glyphosate use;
  • Stem-boring insects and their effects on weed control;
  • Hundreds of weed management treatments are on display for self-guided tours;
  • Data on new disease pressures and results of foliar fungicide treatments on yield;
  • Emerging pests, how to sample for them and how stem-borers may effect herbicide treatments.

Lunch is free for the first 250 attendees. During lunch, four central Missouri farmers will share their successes growing high yield corn and soybeans. Three guided and several self-guided tours are available at the inaugural Farmer Yield Day in the afternoon, which focuses on an integrated approach to boosting yields and includes the following presentations and displays:

  • Bill Wiebold, professor of plant sciences, will showcase a new trial comparing three hybrids of corn currently on the market that differ slightly in how they develop their ears: fixed, flexed, and in-between. His trial examines yield performance among the hybrids in six varied populations with row spacing of 15 and 30 inches.

    One of two drought simulators at Bradford Research Center where scientists measure the effects of water deficiency on crops.

  • Felix Fritschi, assistant professor of plant sciences, will cover a topic on everyone’s mind across the Midwest: plants responses to drought. “Dr. Fritschi’s most important contributions are and will be in understanding how plants respond to abiotic stresses such ad drought and heat,” said Mike Collins, director of the division of plant sciences in CAFNR. “His role in translational research is critical to realizing the potential that genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, ionomics and other fundamental genetic approaches have to contribute to major breakthroughs in food production.”
  • Peter Scharf will present “Keeping Your Topsoil: the Key to High Yields.” Scharf, a professor in CAFNR’s division of plant sciences has three demonstration plots: no-till, no-till with cover crop residue and a tilled plot with a rainfall simulation so attendees see the different tillage practices effects on erosion. He’ll also share photos from a field in central Missouri that lost 100 years’ worth of topsoil this year, and provide strategies to limit erosion and increase yields through maintaining healthy soils.
  • Kevin Bradley, associate professor of plant sciences, and Laura Sweets, state extension plant pathologist, will cover pest management and disease pressure and share survey data from 70 farmer fields in central Missouri. “There’s a lot of yield being left in the field because we’re waiting too long to spray, especially with soybeans” Bradley said. “Timing is critically important to get good control and increase yields.”
  • Wayne Bailey, state extension entomologist, will have several insects on display and explain how to scout fields to identify pests before they become a problem.
  • Herbicide injury displays
  • Display stands of corn and soybeans with varied seed populations.
  • Informational booths from many agricultural chemical, seed and equipment companies.

Registration for the Pest Management Field Day is $10 and covers a tour booklet with the layout and location of each experiment. The Farmer Yield Day is free and doesn’t require registration.

For more information visit or contact Tim Reinbott 573-884-7945