2016 Symposium

University of Minnesota 2016 Production Agriculture Symposium

Part of the DuPont Plant Sciences Symposia Series


2016 banner



2016 symposium schedule

Keynote Speakers

Opening Keynote Speaker: Sarah Carlson

Sarah Carlson

Sarah Carlson joined Practical Farmers of Iowa staff in the fall of 2007. Sarah is the Midwest Cover Crop Research Coordinator. She helps transfer agronomic research about cover crops through articles, blogs and presentation materials while working to improve the support for cover crop research. She also serves as an agronomist on the staff transferring ideas for solutions to integrated crop and livestock concerns from farmers’ stories, results from on-farm research projects and her own knowledge as a trained agronomist

Closing Keynote Speaker: Dr. Rob Myers

Dr. Rob Myers

Dr. Rob Myers is a plant science faculty member at University of Missouri. His primary current appointment is as Regional Director of Extension Programs for the USDA-NIFA North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. He administers competitive grants and state funding for sustainable agriculture projects in 12 North Central states, including on cover crops and soil health.  His past research and extension experience includes work on cover crops and diversification of cropping systems.  His experience includes a one-year appointment in 2013-14 as an Endowed Chair of Agriculture Systems with University of Minnesota where he worked part-time on cover crop issues in the Upper Midwest.  He has worked on conservation and other agriculture policy issues in Washington, DC, both as a National Program Leader in Sustainable Agriculture with USDA in Washington, DC, and earlier as a Congressional Science Fellow with the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee.  He is currently Co-Chair of the National Working Group on Cover Crops and Soil Health and is leading a national team developing a new $25 million research and education consortium effort on soil health.  Dr. Myers obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in agronomy at University of Minnesota and grew up on a family farm in central Illinois.

Expert Panel

Mark Gutierrez (USDA-RMA)
Mark Gutierrez is a manager with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Before joining RMA, Mark graduated from New Mexico State University with an M.S. in Agricultural Economics and was an Agricultural Statistician with the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) in Olympia, WA.  Mark’s leadership in survey administration and data analysis led him to Washington, DC where he was a national survey administrator for NASS. Mark then moved to Minnesota where he led the Estimates Group in the NASS–Minnesota Field Office.  Mark was responsible for the data analysis and estimates for nearly 200 commodity items in MN.

Jim Webster (Pioneer Hi-Bred)
Jim Webster has worked in seed corn production for more than 30 years.  During that time he has served as a seed corn Production Agronomist, a seedcorn Plant Manager, and Agronomy Manager providing training and technical support to Pioneer production agronomists across North America.

Carmen Fernholz
Carmen Fernholz owns and operates A Frame Farm in Madison, MN. A Frame Farm is a certified organic, diversified grain farm. Carmen utilizes cover crops underseeded into small grains.

Jerry Ackerman:
Jerry Ackerman owns and operates Ackermann Farms in Lakefield, MN. He utilizes cover crops in a corn, soybean, and alfalfa system.

Stephanie McClain (NRCS):
Stephanice McClain works as a District Conservationist at the NRCS in Worthington, MN. She connects growers with cover crop solutions.

Breakout Sessions

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Presentations

Main Ballroom – Forages

  • 10:00 AM – The Best of Both Worlds: Cover Crops for Forage in Silage Systems
    Tim Sklenar, Iowa State University, Andrew W. Lenssen, Mary H. Wiedenhoeft
  • 10:15 AM – Double-cropping with pea-barley forage and short-season corn in Minnesota
    Dan Raskin, University of Minnesota
  • 10:30 AM – Forage Value of Annual Cover Crops
    Jim Paulson, University of Minnesota

Cherrywood Room – Soils

  • 10:00 AM – Can Cover Crops Increase Soil C Storage?
    Anna Cates, University of Wisconsin
  • 10:15 AM – Cover Crop Mixture Diversity and Soil Nutrient Cycling
    Angela Florence, University of Nebraska
  • 10:30 AM – Soil Microbial Communities Under Cover Crops
    Adria Fernandez, University of Minnesota, Craig Sheaffer, Donald Wyse, Christopher Staley, Trevor Gould, Michael Sadowsky

Room 110 – Entomology

  • 10:00 AM – Utilizing Buckwheat in an Insect Pest Management Program
    Aimee Talbot, University of Minnesota
  • 10:15 AM – Increased Risk of Insect Injury to Corn Following Rye Cover Crop
    Mike Dunbar, Iowa State University, Adam J. Varenhorst, Erin W. Hodgson, Matthew E. O’Neal and Aaron J. Gassmann
  • 10:30 AM – The Value of Winter Oilseed Cover Crops to Beneficial Insects
    Matt Thom, USDA-ARS, Matthew D. Thom, Frank Forcella, Carrie Eberle

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Presentations

Main Ballroom – Economics and Industry

  • 11:00 AM – Coordinate Cover Crops with Crop Insurance
    Gary Luebke, Risk Management Agency (Retired)
  • 11:15 AM – Diverse Cover Crop Observations and Opportunities
    Colten Catterton, Green Cover Seed
  • 11:30 AM – Agro-Ecosystems and Polyculture Design for Sustained Harvests
    Daniel Halsey, Southwoods Permaculture Design

Cherrywood Room – Cropping Systems

  • 11:00 AM – Corn Yield Response under Winter Cover Crops: An Updated Meta-Analysis
    Guillermo Marcillo, Iowa State University, Fernando E. Miguez
  • 11:15 AM – Phenology and Productivity of Pearl Millet in the Wisconsin Central Sands
    Paige Leytem, University of Wisconsin, Christopher Kucharik, Mallika Nocco
  • 11:30 AM – Integrating cover crops into corn-soybean cropping systems in the upper Midwest
    M. Scott Wells, University of Minnesota

Room 110 – Biofuels

  • 11:00 AM – Perennial Cover Establishment in Row Crop Systems for Sustainable Biofuels Production
    Cynthia Bartel, Iowa State University, Andrew Lenssen, Ken Moore, David Laird, Sotiris Archontoulis
  • 11:15 AM – Integrating Winter Annual Oilseed Crops into Corn and Soybean Rotations in the Upper Midwest and Evaluating the Germplasm of the oilseeed C. sativa
    Matthew Ott and Kevin Anderson, University of Minnesota, Gregg Johnson, M. Scott Wells, Donald Wyse, Frank Forcella, Russ Gesch, James Anderson, M. David Marks, Carrie Eberle, Matt Thom, James Eklund, and Dean Peterson
  • 11:30 AM – Residue Management and Cover Crop Systems
    Alicia ElMamouni, POET, Alex Johnson, Ben Parsley

Our Sponsors

The 2016 Production Agriculture Symposium is funded by:

Du Pont Pioneer




Albert Lea Seeds



Birchwood Cafe


1851 Heritage Catering