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Purdue Extension and Agricultural Centers Events are Valued Resources for Indiana Farmers

There are 56,800 farming operations in Indiana. Some 97% of Indiana’s farms are family-owned. Of Indiana’s roughly 23.3 million acres of land, 84% of it is farms, forests and woodland. Corn ($3.16 billion) and soybeans ($2.84 billion) account for the largest value of sales for Indiana’s commodities. Successful and sustainable production requires attention to a vast array of variables, including but not limited to soil health, water availability and access, prevalence of weeds, insects, invasive species, and diseases, and seasonal and weather variability. The need for access to, and understanding of, new technologies and management is great for Indiana’s producers and the future of crop production. It is prudent for Indiana to protect its resources and support productivity of the land, farms, and operations.

 There were 67 hours of instruction provided by Purdue Extension at nine events held at the Purdue Agricultural Centers (PACs) for commodity producers, crop/livestock advisers, and others seeking knowledge in crop and produce production, farm management, land use, and small-scale farming/gardening. Most events returned to in-person events as pandemic safety guidance opened up more opportunities for gathering, although there was one event that provided virtual programming. These PAC events were: Indiana Grazing Schools at SIPAC and Cutler, Pinney PAC Crop Diagnostic Training, NEPAC Crop Diagnostic Workshop, SWPAC Virtual Field Day, NEPAC Organic Field Day, Pinney PAC Vegetable Field Day, Pinney PAC Field Day Morning Session and Twilight Program, NEPAC Field Day, and Pinney PAC Crop Diagnostic Training.

 Topics addressed in these events included:

  • Livestock: Animal nutritional needs and forage quality; extending the grazing season; fencing and watering; forage types, growing forage, grazing systems; integrating livestock into cropping systems; paddock design pasture evaluation and recordkeeping; and plant-induced forage disorder.
  • Crops: Agriculture economy outlook; farm budget update; corn and soybean updates; early season growth and development; late season development and harvest; manure, manure application field research, and manure and fertilizer regulations for Indiana; marketing for organic grain, and preparing for organic inspections; soil care, fertility, testing, and nutrient management; strategies for reduction of nutrient losses; sulfur and boron fertilizer considerations in corn; and stored grain management.
  • Diseases, Pests, and Weeds: Cover crops for weed management in organic sweet potato and in the home garden, and management after winter rye cover in no-till systems for corn and pumpkin; cover crops and soil health; crop diseases update; disease management in organic field crops, and in corn and soybeans; efficient crop scouting using drone assistance; managing resistance of fungicides; minibulk regulations and pesticides; pros and cons of insurance pest management; the new IPM; weed management; and wildlife damage of crops.
  • Produce: Making and using compost in the garden; managing two spotted spider mites on cucumbers in high tunnels; soil health practices and compost amendments for pepper production; vegetable storage and cooking winter squash; and winter squash culture and varieties.
  • Safety: Basic first aid/CPR; farm truck regulations; grain entrapment/bin simulator; pulling out stuck trucks and equipment safely. A total of 792 participants attended the nine PAC events. There were 329 participants who completed postsurveys, a 41.5% response rate. Participants reported they were White (92.5%), non-Hispanic (88.8%), male (85.9%), and age 50 or older (62.7%).


At these PAC events 556 participants were informed about field crops, 590 participants were informed about crop production issues, 619 participants were informed about agronomic management practices, and 677 participants were informed about agronomic issues. Participants answered the Net Promoter Score® items: On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this program to a friend, colleague, or family member? and What is the primary reason for your score? The NPS is a measure of customer loyalty that helps inform decision-makers of the experiences they are providing. Bringing World-Class Education to Rural and Urban Communities 14 Loyal, passionate customers engage more, are willing to pay more, contribute suggestions, and share praise of the organization to friends and colleagues. For all events combined, the NPS calculated score was +37 (on a scale from -100 to +100) and is considered a good rating. Promoters (those selecting 9 or 10) shared these reasons for their scores: Events were very informative and provided excellent information (always good/excellent, good/great); they learned new things, learned a lot, or gained a lot of knowledge; they liked the content that was provided and listed specific topics of interest; the presenters were knowledgeable and amazing, enthusiastic, excellent, good, great; the events provided practical, useful, helpful, and valuable, advice, tools, resources and information; they enjoyed it and indicated it was an interesting experience; and, they liked networking and connecting with their neighbors and other farmers. These Extension and Purdue Agricultural Centers events contribute valuable and practical information for farmers across Indiana. These activities are very informative opportunities, provide practical, useful, helpful and valuable tools and resources for learning, feature knowledgeable, amazing, enthusiastic, and excellent experts, are enjoyable events, and support and enhance networking and connections among farmers.

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