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Highland to Host Crop Research Field Day Aug. 24

Agriculture students examine the roots of a corn plant for rootworm damage.

FREEPORT — Highland Community College Agriculture, in partnership with the University of Illinois Extension, will be hosting a Crop Research Field Day on Wednesday, August 24, 2022, at Highland Agriculture’s research plot — located at 3579 Stephenson St. in Freeport.

The 15-acre plot serves as a land lab where students gain hands-on experience with crop production and research design. Topics of research this year include tillage practices, drone technologies, corn and soybean variety trials and corn rootworm demonstrations. The college intends to share the progress of this research during the event, and will report final data to the public at the conclusion of the growing season.

Highland Agriculture Instructor and Farm Manager Justin Ebert will give an overview of the many research trials conducted at Highland and provide an update on the further development of the program.

University of Illinois Extension Commercial Agriculture Educators Phillip Alberti and Chelsea Harbach will discuss crop and disease updates, while U of I Extension Digital Agriculture Specialist Dennis Bowman will demonstrate several drone technologies. Additional speakers include representatives from various seed and equipment providers, who will discuss the soybean variety and tillage trials being conducted at the land lab.

The demonstration will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude 12:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend to learn about the research taking place at Highland, as well as hear from extension specialists throughout the state on soybean insect, weed, disease and production issues. Lunch and networking opportunities will be available following the program.

The demonstration is free; however, participants are asked to register by Tuesday, Aug. 23 to enjoy lunch provided by HCC Agriculture. Anyone interested in attending may register online by visiting the Extension website at or by calling the Stephenson County Extension office at 815-235-4125. 

For additional questions, contact Phillip Alberti, Crop Science Educator with University of Illinois Extension in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, at or 217-300-7392.