Indiana: Crops Field Day, West Lafayette, Sept. 6

Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, will be among the featured topics on Sept. 6 at Purdue University Extension’s annual Crops Field Day. Drones have been generating a lot of buzz in agriculture, and this field day will allow farmers and the general public to get a firsthand glimpse of UAV technology.

“Our field day is not only suited for farmers and crop advisers, but for anyone who wants to learn about some of the latest technology that will have a significant impact in agriculture and broadly across other sectors,” said Karen Mitchell, Tippecanoe County Purdue Extension director and agriculture and natural resources educator. “UAV technology has advanced beyond being of use only to researchers; it is a practical decision-making tool for farmers from any size operation, who can now view their fields from different perspectives in a short amount of time.”

The field day, sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council, will be at the Beck Agricultural Center, located at the Agronomy Center for Research and Education (ACRE), 4540 U.S. 52 West in West Lafayette. While the event is free and open to the public, those wanting to attend must register online here.

Crops Field Day is scheduled to begin with check in at 7:30 a.m. and conclude at 1:30 p.m. The day’s program is as follows:

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  • 8 a.m. – Welcome from Jason Henderson, director of Purdue Extension and associate dean of agriculture, and Karen Plaut, the recently named Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue’s College of Agriculture.
  • 8:15 – Introduction to UAVs by Mark Carter, Purdue Extension Delaware County agriculture and natural resources (ANR) educator.
  • 9 a.m. – Learning stations at various on-site locations featuring:
    • John Scott, Extension coordinator for digital agriculture.
    • Area 9 Extension ANR educators Bryan Overstreet of Jasper County, Jon Charlesworth of Benton County and Andrew Westfall of White County.
    • Jeff Boyer, superintendent of Davis-Purdue Agricultural Center, will show visitors a UAV trailer that features large screens so participants can watch a drone go through its paces and see the aerial images in real time.
    • Two field stations featuring the research projects of Purdue agronomy department faculty Mitch Tuinstra and Katy Rainey. Specialists from their programs will showcase the ongoing work using the Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center, the field phenotyping facility at ACRE.
  • 11:30 – Lunch.
  • Noon – Crop updates and hot topics featuring:
    • Shaun Casteel, associate professor of agronomy and Extension soybean specialist.
    • Bill Johnson, professor of botany and plant pathology and Extension weed specialist.
    • Bob Nielsen, professor of agronomy and Extension corn specialist.
    • John Obermeyer, Extension integrated pest management specialist.
    • Darcy Telenko, assistant professor of crops pathology and Extension crops pathology specialist.

Private Applicator Recertification Program (PARP), Continuing Education Units (CEU) and Continuing Certification Hours (CCH) credits have been applied for, and participants wanting to receive PARP credits must pay a $10 fee (cash or check only).

For more info, contact Mitchell at 765-474-0793,

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