Challenging crop production issues, ag economic projections and a statewide food-agriculture strategy only scratch the surface of University of Illinois Agronomy Day topics. The event starts at 7 a.m. Aug. 20 with research tours on the U of I Crop Sciences Research Farm, Urbana.

“Our program addresses issues of production. Our economics people will take a look at the current status of land values and markets,” Robert Dunker, U of I crops sciences superintendent, told FarmWeek.

Research tours will be offered from 7 a.m. to noon and repeated every half hour. Attendees may choose among three 75-minute tours that each highlight different topics.

This year’s topics include: ag applications and use of data from unmanned aerial vehicles, timing of nitrogen applications and optimizing in corn production, projected corn and soybean returns, Palmer amaranth identification, crop insect survey results and mitigating herbicide resistance.

Speakers at noon will include Tyler Strom, project manager of the Food and Agricultural RoadMap (FARM) for Illinois. Farm Illinois offers a comprehensive plan to establish Illinois and the Chicago region as the leading global hub for food and agriculture innovation. He will be joined by U of I Baseball Coach Dan Hartleb and men’s Golf Coach Mike Small.

Several new exhibitors and technology displays will join college programs, student organizations and vendors under the exhibit tent.

For more details, visit {agronomyday.cropsci.illinois.edu}