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Dr. Winthrop Phippen (right) and Western Illinois University agriculture students, (L to R) Lance Coers (Cordova, IL) and Katie Roskamp (Sutter, IL), lay out plot signs for WIU's pennycress research plots.
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During WIU's Pennycress Field Day -- 10 a.m.-noon Thursday, June 2, 2011 -- in cooperation with the U.S.D.A. Peoria lab and industry representatives, WIU School of Agriculture Professor and Researcher Win Phippen will present the current agronomic and breeding research on pennycress. Guest speakers will address the commercialization and development of new industrial products, as well. Phippen has also established a resource for pennycress information, the Pennycress Resource Network, available at
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Pennycress Field Day June 2 to Provide Producers with Learning Opportunity

May 17, 2011

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MACOMB, IL -- Local and regional producers in or near western Illinois will have the chance to learn more about the exciting new crop of field pennycress, which currently is being developed for off-season production of bio-fuels and industrial products. According to Win Phippen, a researcher and faculty member in the Western Illinois University School of Agriculture, Pennycress Field Day is slated for 10 a.m.-noon Thursday, June 2 at the Agriculture Field Laboratory near WIU's Macomb campus.

During the event, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) Peoria lab and industry representatives, Phippen will present the current agronomic and breeding research on pennycress, along with guest speakers addressing the commercialization and development of new industrial products.

"This day has been established to introduce a new winter annual crop, field pennycress, to local and regional producers," Phippen said. "Researchers, along with industry representatives, will be present to discuss this very unique short season crop. Those who attend will be able to see planting-date studies; winter and spring variety trials; planting methods; winter and spring nitrogen treatments; and results from the soybean crop-rotation study."

The event is open free to the public, and no registration is required. WIU's Agriculture Field Laboratory is located north of the Harry Mussatto Golf Course on Tower Road, just north of the WIU-Macomb campus. (see a map of the Macomb campus, including the location of the Mussatto Golf Course and the University Farm at

Phippen noted that the day is set up as a guided tour through the plots, and he said there will be time for photos and individual questions. If you have any questions about the event, or would like to bring a large group, contact Phippen at (309) 298-1251 or via email at

Pennycress Resource Network

Interested individuals can also get information via the Pennycress Resource Network (see, which Phippen said is a newly developed resource dedicated to information dissemination about the development, advancement and commercialization of field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.).

ISA Supports WIU Research

In addition to two other soybean-related research projects at Western, Phippen's pennycress research project was recently awarded funding from the Illinois Soybean Association, according to an ISA press release (see

"The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) recently announced that an annuity from its endowment at Western Illinois University (WIU) will fund three research proposals for the 2011-12 school year. Each of the projects will examine ways soybean farmers can enhance their production methods and yields," states the release.

Faculty members in Western Illinois University's School of Agriculture who received funding include:

  • Winthrop Phippen (professor) and Harry Rukavina (faculty assistant/post-doctoral researcher) for the project: "Rotation Effect of Pennycress on Soybean and Corn Yield"; and
  • Joel Gruver (assistant professor) for the research project, "Practical Cover Crop Management for Soybean Production in Illinois," being conducted at Western's Allison Organic Research and Demonstration Farm.

WIU faculty members Richard Musser (associate professor) and Sue Hum-Musser (assistant professor), both from the Western Illinois University Department of Biological Sciences, also received funding for their project, "Defending Soybean from Insect Pests and Ozone Pollution."

For more information about the ISA-funded research projects at WIU see

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