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URBANA, IL. – Dudley Smith, Jr. recognized the economic challenges facing agriculture in Illinois and its impact on rural communities. On his Christian County farm, he championed the adoption of technological advances which advanced stewardship and sustainability of agricultural practices. 

Smith gave the farm and a substantial endowment to University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences in 1993, and the transformative research on agricultural practices continues. That research will be highlighted in the Dudley Smith Farm winter meeting, beginning at 10 a.m. Feb. 9.  

Animal and crop sciences experts are featured during the daylong virtual conference. Continuing education units have been approved for certified crop advisors. Learn more and register by Feb. 5 at go.illinois.edu/DSFWinter2021.  

Ashley Belle, University of Illinois Extension energy and environmental stewardship educator, will welcome virtual guests and introduce Daniel Shike, Illinois animal sciences associate professor, for a discussion on integrating cover crops in grain and beef cattle operations toward soil-livestock synergies.  

Ticks are a major vector of human and livestock pathogens that can result in large economic losses impacting agricultural and natural resources industries. Teresa Steckler, Extension commercial ag educator at Dixon Springs Agricultural Center, will discuss invasive plant species as risk factors for tick-borne disease in both humans and livestock. Illinois research specialist Lucas Neira will provide an update on beef research ongoing at the Dixon Springs Southern Illinois site. 

Illinois Grazing Lands Coalition chairman Cliff Schuette will discuss cover crops and grazing practices in the state.  

Research on the first years of intensive tile drainage at Dudley Smith will be highlighted by Laura Christianson, Illinois assistant crop sciences professor and Extension specialist, and Ariana Munoz, crop sciences graduate student. The conference will close with Andrew Margenot, assistant crop sciences professor at Illinois, discussing soil phosphorus credit for Illinois. 

More information is available from the Christian County Extension Office at 217-287-7246. If you will need an accommodation in order to participate, contact the Extension office. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs. 

Extension has several winter agricultural conferences. Learn more at: go.illinois.edu/anrwinter2021. 

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