University News

Allison Farm Field Day July 10

June 12, 2002

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MACOMB, IL -- Pesticide-free and organic farming methods and economics will be featured at the annual Western Illinois University Allison Farm Field Day beginning at noon Wednesday, July 10 at the WIU agriculture department's 80-acre pesticide-free and organic Allison Research and Demonstration Farm located in southern Warren County seven miles north of Sciota (see directions below).

Since 1953, the farm had been owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Allison, who approached pest management -- both weed and insect control -- by utilizing conventional tillage, long rotations, rotary hoeing and row cultivation. Fertility was supplied by legumes in rotations and manure from a small livestock operation. In 1993, following Mr. Allison's death, the farm was leased to Western and a cooperating farmer. The WIU agriculture department established a research program in 1996 to evaluate tillage and cropping practices to produce pesticide-free and organic crops.

Field day presentations, which will begin after the complimentary noon lunch, include "Planting and Weed Control in Ridge-Till Farming" by Curt Dambman of Dambman Service, Milledgeville; "Organic Herbicides" by Neil Mathiason, head agronomist of Summerset Products, Bloomington, MN; "Premiums Available for Producers of Organic Wheat, Soybeans and Corn" by Jim Traub and Roger Hendricker of Clarkson Grain, Beardstown; "Organic Vegetable Crop Production in Illinois" by John Masiunas and Eric Menzel from the University of Illinois department of natural resources and environmental sciences; "The Effect of the National Organic Program on the Illinois Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) by an OCIA representative; and "Research and Crop Rotation at the Allison Farm," by Jerry Vigue, WIU agriculture professor and coordinator of the field day. In addition, weather-permitting, participants can observe a Buffalo 8100 ridge-till planter set up for dry fertilizer application and the effects of organic herbicide treatments.
Event co-sponsors are the McDonough County and Warren County soil and water conservation districts and the WIU Department of Agriculture. The rain date is Thursday, July 11. The demonstration field day is open free to the public, but advance registration is required for the lunch. To register by the noon Friday, July 5 deadline or for more information, please contact the McDonough County Soil and Water Conservation District at 309/837-4952.
Directions to the Allison Farm: If arriving from the north, travel on Rt. 67 five miles south of the Rt. 67 - Rt. 116 intersection in Roseville to County Rd. 20th Ave N, then turn west and travel four miles to the farm.  If arriving from the south, travel on Rt. 67 seven miles north of the Rt. 67 - Rt. 9 intersection in Good Hope to Country Rd. 20th Ave N, then turn west and travel four miles to the farm. The farm is located on the northwest corner of the intersection of County Rd. 20th Ave N and 20th Street.

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Communications & Marketing