University News

2017 WIU Allison Farm Field Day: Capturing the Benefits of Biodiversity in Agriculture

July 7, 2017


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MACOMB, IL -- The Western Illinois University 2017 Allison Organic Research and Demonstration Field Day is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 11 at the farm north of the WIU-Macomb campus. This year's theme is
"Capturing the Benefits of Biodiversity in Agriculture."

According to WIU School of Agriculture Associate Professor Joel Gruver, the daylong event will feature presentations in the morning and field tours and equipment demonstrations in the afternoon. The presentations will begin at 9 a.m. in the Dakin Farm shop, approximately 0.7 miles south of the Allison/WIU Organic Research Farm in southwest Warren County (directions below). A complimentary lunch, featuring local farm products, will be served at noon.

Mark Doudlah, a fourth generation farmer from Wisconsin, will deliver the keynote presentation at 11 a.m. Gruver explained that Doudlah Farms, LLC is pioneering the use of no-till, narrow rows and precision ag technologies to produce a high diversity of organic crops - corn, corn seed, dry beans (dark red kidneys, pintos and black beans), ancient grains, canning crops and cover crop seed (Aroostook rye, Purple Bounty hairy vetch and Manitoba 4010 forage peas). Doudlah Farms also produces pastured livestock (beef, pork and poultry, including eggs) and is conducting collaborative research with the USDA and state universities on peas, oats and pollinator strips.

Other presenters include Mark Mueller of Botanic Innovations, who will discuss alternative crops for specialty oils and nutritional by-products, and Matt O'Neal from the Iowa State University Department of Entomology, who will focus on the impact of biodiversity in farm landscapes on pollinators and biocontrol. Gruver will also share recent research results and lead discussions about the presentations.

A walking tour of the Allison Farm's research and demonstration plots, which feature corn, soybeans, sunflowers, small plots of alternative crops and diverse cover crops, managed with contrasting tillage systems, fertility programs, seed treatments, interseeding and cultivation practices, will begin at 1:30 p.m. There will also be equipment demonstrations, weather permitting.

Registration is required. To register or for more information about the Field Day, contact Andy Clayton, WIU Organic Program research technician and farm manager, at AW-Clayton@wiu.edu or (217) 322-2639 or the WIU School of Agriculture at (309) 298-1080.

Onsite registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. Dedicated time for meeting with vendors and networking with attendees is scheduled before and between presentations.

Directions to the Dakin Farm shop, 130 20th St., Roseville, IL:

If arriving from the north, travel on U.S. Rt. 67 five miles south of the U.S. Rt. 67 and IL Rt. 116 intersection in Roseville to County Rd. 20th Ave. N, then turn west and travel four miles on 20th Ave. to the southeast corner of the Allison Farm (intersection of 20th Ave. and 20th St.). Turn left and proceed south 0.7 miles on 20th St. to the Dakin Farm shop located on the west side of the road.

If arriving from the south, travel on U.S. Rt. 67 seven miles north of the U.S. Rt. 67 and IL Rt. 9 intersection in Good Hope to County Rd. 20th Ave. N (2 miles north of the McDonough/Warren County line), then turn west and travel four miles on 20th Ave. to the southeast corner of the Allison Farm (intersection of 20th Ave. and 20th St.). Turn left and proceed south 0.7 miles on 20th St. to the Dakin Farm shop located on the west side of the road.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations