By Mark Licht, Meaghan Anderson, and Brent Pringnitz–Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is announcing a new educational program aimed at delivering crop production information directly to farmers and agribusinesses.
CropsTV provides the convenience of viewing at home, in the office, or anywhere there’s an internet connection. Live webinars allow interaction with specialists, presenters, and panelists. On-demand viewing of topics allows schedule flexibility. Participants can select from over 30 topics from Iowa State University faculty and staff as well as invited guest presenters. The 10-week program launches Dec. 1.
CropsTV replaces the Integrated Crop Management Conference, originally scheduled for Dec. 2-3, and the Crop Advantage Series, scheduled for January at 14 Iowa locations. These two programs are temporarily suspended due to safety concerns for attendees and staff as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and are scheduled to return next year. CropsTV was developed to reach this audience conveniently, safely, and effectively in the absence of these two popular programs.
“As pandemic uncertainty continues, there is still a need for science-based agronomic information,” said Mark Licht, assistant professor in agronomy and cropping systems specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach: “The ICM Conference and Crop Advantage meetings were very effective at providing timely information to producers. CropsTV will provide the same top-quality programming Iowa farmers and agronomists have come to expect from ISU Extension and Outreach in a safe and accessible format.”
The 10-week CropsTV season begins Dec. 1 and continues through Feb. 4, 2021. Live webinars are scheduled each week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9-10 a.m. Recordings of previous webinars, as well as additional topics, will be available for on-demand viewing throughout the program. Webinars will be a combination of live presentations and pre-recorded content, with a live question and answer session allowing discussion and interaction with presenters.
“The combination of live and on-demand content is ideal for our busy clientele,” said Meaghan Anderson, field agronomist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “We also have the opportunity to reach a wider audience and provide more guest presentations from invited speakers with this format.”
“We encourage Iowa farmers to participate in CropTV to benefit from the abundance of information it provides from ISU faculty and staff as well as invited guest presenters,” said Carl Jardon, Iowa Corn Growers Association president and farmer from Randolph. “Because the series is online, this allows for greater flexibility and farmers can adapt based on their schedules.”
The current year required change – both on the part of farmers and agribusinesses, and those who deliver information.
“Farmers know how important it is to adapt and persevere,” said Jeff Jorgenson, Iowa Soybean Association president and Sidney soybean farmer. “CropsTV is that mentality in action. I look forward to seeing soybean growers benefit from this quality programming now made even more accessible to every farmer in Iowa.”
The program will be a familiar blend of research updates and guest speakers, similar to the ICM Conference, and management topics and local research results, similar to the Crop Advantage Series. Certified Crop Adviser credits will be available for all presentations, with at least 15 available prior to the end of the year. Announcement of the program and schedule will be in mid-October.
Registration for CropsTV is $45 and includes all live webinar broadcasts, on-demand viewing of previous webinars and over 30 CCA credits. Online registration opens mid-November 2020.