Anyone who has ever farmed--or ever known a farmer--knows the lengthy catalogue of things that can go wrong with crops: too much rain, too little rain, herbicide damage, hail damage, and a host of other problems or potential problems.

Different problems, however, often display similar symptoms, making it difficult to recommend appropriate management strategies. To help, ag service providers, crop consultants and others, the University of Missouri is holding two Crop Injury Diagnostic Clinics on July 25 and 26 and on July 27 and 28.

The two two-day clinics at MU Bradford Research Farm, six miles east of Columbia, are sponsored by the MU College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources and by University Extension. The clinic gives participants the opportunity to fine tune their skills in diagnosing crop injury and recommending proper scouting protocols for insects, weeds, and diseases.

They will learn to anticipate potential pest problems based on environmental and cultural factors and develop pest management strategies and recommendations based upon economic thresholds. Other sessions will concentrate on crop growth and development, nutrient management and soil and water management.

Participants can select seven of the nine two-hour sessions for the two-day program. The tentative schedule includes the following sessions:

1. Corn and sorghum growth and development, with comparisons of normal growth and development and the effect of injury and stresses at various stages.

2. Nutrient deficiencies in corn, with a hydroponics demonstration deficiency symptoms, plus the effect of subsoil compaction on nutrient uptake.

3. Troubleshooting techniques and new advances in crop scouting, including guidelines for diagnosis of crop problems in the field, weed scouting, an evaluation of the computer program "WeedSoft" as a management decision tool and using global positioning systems in crop scouting.

4. Insect pests in corn and sorghum, with insect identification and scouting methods, economic thresholds and management strategies and an update on insect-resistant corn hybrids.

5. Diseases in corn and sorghum, including identification of common diseases, effects of weather and cultural practices on disease development and various management strategies.

6. Nematodes in corn and sorghum, with field sampling and extraction of nematodes, symptoms of nematode damage in corn and appropriate management strategies.

7. Herbicide mode of action and associated injury symptoms in corn and sorghum, with diagnosis of injury from carryover, excessive rates, and drift.

8. Weed identification, including live weeds at seedling and more mature stages of growth.

9. Irrigation workshop, featuring the use of moisture sensors and soil moisture readings to schedule irrigation and comparison of scouting methods.

Those who complete the clinic will be credited with continuing education units (CEU) under the Certified Crop Advisor program. The registration fee for each of the two-day clinic programs is $130 per person and includes clinic instruction, a binder of reference materials, lunches, refreshment breaks and a barbecue.

For more information, call Tim Reinbott, interim director of Bradford Farm, at 573-884-7945; or Maureen O'Day at 573-882-3786.

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