America's largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural & educational experience!

Learning Center Sessions

In-depth discussions of current issues and topics that have a direct impact on your farm. This year’s Special Edition of Commodity Classic features dozens of Learning Center sessions covering a wide range of subjects. Check the schedule for a complete listing so you don’t miss a thing.


A Step Ahead: Enlist Applicator Training

Sponsored by Corteva Agriscience


Speakers: Steve Snyder, Enlist Technology Specialist, Corteva Agriscience; Dan Puck, Enlist Technology Specialist, Corteva Agriscience; Andy Carriger, Enlist Technology Specialist, Corteva Agiscience


Learn how to succeed with Enlist™ crops. Join our Enlist Ahead applicator training session to get straightforward information and tips about planting and spraying Enlist E3® soybeans in 2021. The session covers:
* How to achieve effective weed control on Enlist acres
* Tank-mixing with Enlist herbicides
* Characteristics of 2,4-D choline in Enlist herbicides
* Field planning scenarios
* Spray requirements

This session, led by Enlist field specialists, also will cover key learnings from the 2020 spray season. Whether you’re new to the system or want a refresher on how to maximize success with the best weed control technology on the market, you will learn more about controlling weeds with Enlist herbicides. The Enlist weed control system delivers more control and more options. No ifs, ands, or buts. Learn how to obtain the benefits with this training.


Enjoy this webinar? We have more opportunities to learn firsthand about a wide variety of weed control topics - from spring herbicide programs to tank-mixing and nozzle selection. Register for our monthly A Step Ahead webinar series to learn more about how the system works to give you the weed control you deserve.



Agronomy Insights: Drive Profitability with Soil Management Systems and Technology

Sponsored by Case IH


Speakers: Dr. Alison Bryan, Research Agronomist, Case IH; Chris Lursen, Tillage Marketing Manager, Case IH


Is it time to change your approach to field preparation and soil management? Dr. Alison Bryan, Case IH research agronomist, and Chris Lursen, Case IH tillage marketing manager and co-owner of Lursen Farms, share the latest agronomy insights from field research to demonstrate how seedbed quality impacts planter performance, crop emergence and yield potential. Because soil management solutions are never one-size-fits-all, attendees will learn how a system approach to field preparation can help drive profitability.



Strategies for Success in 2021

Sponsored by Successful Farming®


Speaker: Al Kluis, Managing Director, Kluis Commodity Publishing; Cory Bratland, Chief Grain Strategist, Kluis Commodity Publishing


Al Kluis will review the marketing plan that he presented at last year's Commodity Classic. He will then provide his fundamental and chart outlook for this year. He will also provide his specific price and time plan for marketing your corn and soybeans. Kluis is forecasting another very exciting year in the grain markets.



State of U.S. Soy

Sponsored by United Soybean Board/Soy Checkoff



Speakers: Tyne Morgan, Live Q&A Moderator; Dan Farney, Chairman, United Soybean Board; Meagan Kaiser, Treasurer, United Soybean Board; David Iverson, Secretary, United Soybean Board; Belinda Burrier, Director and Marketplace Chair, United Soybean Board


Success for soybean farmers in today’s market takes more than just a good harvest. Increasing demand for soybeans is an essential part of the equation. The soybean checkoff helps facilitate market growth and creation by funding and directing marketing, research and commercialization programs. By driving value at every point in the value chain, from infrastructure to industrial uses, and from value on the farm to demand with end users, the soybean checkoff helps ensure a strong and profitable future for U.S. soybean farmers. USB Chair Dan Farney and members of the USB Executive Committee will highlight the many projects and initiatives being implemented by the soy checkoff.



New Seed Traits, Resistant Weed Control, and How to Make Dicamba NOT Drift

Sponsored by Successful Farming®


SpeakersBrian Hefty and Darren Hefty, Ag PhD


Weed control is becoming more difficult each year, but Darren & Brian Hefty from Ag PhD will give you a step by step plan on how to stop a tough weeds on your farm, including Palmer pigweed, waterhemp, marestail, kochia, common ragweed, and more.  Plus, they’ll talk through the latest in seed traits and the biggest challenge the herbicide industry has seen in recent years, dicamba drift.



Soy Innovation Challenge Finalists & Winners

Sponsored by United Soybean Board/Soy Checkoff


Speaker:  Brandon Day, COO, The Yield Lab Institute; Keith Tapp, Farmer-Leader, United Soybean Board Past Chair; Stuart Harrison, Head of R&D and Open Innovation, Syngenta; Alfonso Amat, Head of Startup Business Development at Amazon Web Services


The Soy Innovation Challenge was a global call to encourage disruptive and innovative ideas for soy value chain product solutions. These disruptive innovations are meant to capture more value directly back to the soybean farmer. The Soy Innovation Challenge is centered around business mentorship and entrepreneurial networking with the Yield Lab’s global network to support soy innovations with the most promise to grow, scale and commercialize. The challenge received nearly 90 worldwide applicants, which have been narrowed down to seven finalists. Brandon Day, COO of The Yield Lab Institute, will introduce these startup teams along with announcing the winners live during the session.



Working to Get the Global Animal Feed Industry to Change How it Values Soy Protein

Sponsored by U.S. Soybean Export Council



Moderator: Karey Claghorn, USSEC Senior Director, Organizational Collaboration and Innovation

Speakers: Monte Peterson, Chairman, U.S. Soybean Export Council, and North Dakota Soybean Farmer; Doug Winter, Vice Chairman, U.S. Soybean Export Council, and Illinois Soybean Farmer; Jim Sutter, CEO, U.S. Soybean Export Council; Maria Mayorga, Nutritionist and Regional Poultry Technical Expert, U.S. Soybean Export Council; Jason Hafemeister, USDA Trade Policy Coordinator and FAS Associate Administrator; Matthew Clark, co-founder Genesis Feed Technologies    


Traditionally, buyers evaluate soy on one metric: crude protein. However, we’re learning and the newest research shows that crude protein is not the best indicator for meeting the nutritional needs of animals and aquaculture. Other factors such as quality and the amino acid profile impact the palatability, digestibility and overall energy value derived from soy. USSEC is putting a spotlight on this new research and working to change how buyers look at soy. One of the newest tools to help them do this is the Soy Nutrition Value Calculator, and USSEC has been working with key customers all around the globe to give demonstrations and highlight the “true value” of U.S. Soy ­­– it’s the essential, economical and responsible choice.



Corn and Carbon: Farming’s New Double Crop

Sponsored by Winfield United


Speakers: Jamie Leifker, Vice President of R&D and Product Development, WinField United; Jim Hedges, Vice President of Seed, WinField United; Aaron Sindelar, Conservation Agronomist, Central Valley Ag Cooperative


A new demand in the market is on the rise and farmers are in the best possible place to take advantage. Carbon credits are giving them a new mode of income to diversify their risk beyond productivity. And when facing uncertain crop markets and unexpected challenges, carbon markets can add predictability to farmers’ profitability. All while ensuring the land, air and water are healthy for future generations of farmers.   


Join us to hear about ways farmers can benefit from carbon markets today for the on-farm practices they’ve already implemented and what can they do tomorrow to make the most of this new opportunity.



Driving Profit Through Productivity: The True Impact of Pests on Yield

Sponsored by Syngenta


Speakers: Dr. Allan Gray, Executive Director, Center for Food and Agricultural Business and Land O’Lakes Chari in Food and Agribusiness, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University; Dr. Bill Johnson, Professor of Weed Science, Purdue University; Tyler Harp, Technical Development Lead, Syngenta; Mark Kitt, Corn Herbicide Technical Product Lead, Syngenta


During this time of trade uncertainty and lower commodity prices, growers face mounting pressures for cutting costs while increasing revenue. During our session, our presenters will share the economics behind a strong pest management program, with a focus on the relationship between driving higher profits through agronomic investments that help increase yield. The presenters will underscore the importance of looking beyond the cost of the input to the value of the output to help growers come out ahead.


Chat with our speakers on the Syngenta sponsor page during the following times:
Dr. Bill Johnson: 3/4 from 10 – 10:30 a.m. CST
Dr. Allan Gray: 3/4 from 1:30 – 2 p.m. CST
Tyler Harp: 3/4 from 4 – 4:40 p.m. CST
Mark Kitt: 3/5 from 10 – 11 a.m. CST



Keys to Guiding Your Farm Through an Era of Tight Margins and Increased Risk

Sponsored by Purdue University Center for Commercial Agriculture and the CME Group









Speakers: Dr. Jason Henderson, Associate Dean, College of Agriculture and Director of Purdue Extension; Dr. Michael Langemeier, Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics and Associate Director, Center for Commercial Agriculture; Dr. James Mintert, Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, and Director, Center for Commercial Agriculture; Dr. Fred Seamon, Executive Director of Commodity Research and Product Development, CME Group; Dr. Nathanael Thompson,  Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University


In the session, the expert panel will share the key lessons from 2020 and help producers plan for the financial and risk management realities of 2021. The discussion will feature the latest data from the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, these results will have specific focus on what farmers see happening with regard to their current financial situation, expected profitability in 2021, the desirability of making large investments in their farms, plans for expansion and their approach to risk management in these challenging times. Emphasis will be placed on the role of technology adoption in improving farm profitability.



Cover Crop=Cash Crop: How Economic and Environmental Sustainability Can Co-exist on Advanced Farming Operations

Sponsored by Corteva Agriscience™


Speakers: Brent Wilson, Product Line and Agronomy Lead, Corteva Agriscience; Sara Lira, Research Scientist, Corteva Agriscience


Farmers are actively working to improve the soil health of their fields, but these efforts are only sustainable if they also deliver long-term productivity and profitability. How can farmers find improved options for double cropping or alternative cover crops that increase profit potential and improve soil quality?

This session will explore two innovative research projects underway to address this question. One is exploring yellow field peas as both an alternative cash crop and cover crop – leveraging its short season, ability to fix nitrogen in the soil and pea protein for alternative meat products. The second looked at taking a perennial groundcover systems approach to achieving soil and water conservation with high-yield corn and soybean row crops.



Conservation’s Impact on the Farm Bottom Line
Sponsored by Soil Health Partnership


Speakers: Maria Bowman, Lead Scientist, Soil Health Partnership; Vincent Gauthier, Research Analyst, Working Lands, Environmental Defense Fund; Elyssa McFarland, Field Development Director


Conservation practices hold the potential to make farms more financially resilient but can also be costly to implement. In a partnership with Environmental Conservation practices hold the potential to make farms more financially resilient but can also be costly to implement. In a partnership with Environmental Defense Fund and agriculture managerial and accounting firm KCoe Isom, the Soil Health Partnership has measured the outcomes of conservation practice adoption on the farm’s bottom line for seven farms across the Midwest. Learn from the SHP staff and farmers about what they discovered through this partnership, and about the potential financial impacts of adopting conservation practices for your farm.



The Important Role Nitrogen Plays in Photosynthesis and Yield Potential

Sponsored by Sound Agriculture


Speakers: Fred Below, PhD, Professor Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Bruce Luzzi, PhD, Field Development Director, Sound Agriculture    


Moderator: Michelle Yoshinaka, VP Corporate Marketing & Communications, Sound Agriculture  


It’s common knowledge that nitrogen is a critical nutrient for crops. But exactly what is nitrogen doing and how does it ultimately impact production? This session will cover the latest research on nitrogen’s role in establishing and maintaining the plant’s photosynthetic capacity and yield potential. We will also discuss management practices that may impact nitrogen availability and uptake - from soil factors to products that can provide more naturally available nitrogen to the plant. Finally, we will touch on some newly released research on ways to improve the availability of nitrogen and phosphorus.



When the Weather Waltz Stops

Sponsored by DTN


Speakers: Bryce Anderson, Senior Agriculture Meteorologist, DTN 


A key phenomenon shaping weather in recent seasons is the tendency for large weather patterns to get stuck in place. Bryce Anderson will discuss the latest thinking on this pattern occurrence, what it means for the Spring 2021 planting season and beyond, and how new tools are helping guide our understanding of weather patterns.



Courage over Comfort – Finding Your Confidence in Constant Change

Sponsored by Successful Farming®


Speaker: Marji Guyler-Alaniz, President and Founder FarmHer


As told through Marji’s journey through FarmHer, she will share a variety of relatable and everyday ways she has courageously forced herself out of her comfort zone, building confidence step-by-step.




The Great Grain Challenge: Profit Strategies for a New Marketing World    

Sponsored by Farm Futures & Corn+Soybean Digest, Farm Progress, Channel Seed    


  Speakers: Matt Bennett, Channel Seed Grain Marketing Consultant, Farmer and former Grain Elevator Manager;  Ed Usset, Author of Grain Marketing is Simple and Corn+Soybean Digest and Farm Futures contributing editor


With 2019’s Prevent Plant fiasco in their rear view mirror, grain farmers began 2020 expecting to plant a record number of corn acres, only to have a game-changing pandemic crush global demand. How has the health crisis and geopolitical friction impacted grain markets? What should you know now, to ensure the best risk management strategies for your business in 2021 and beyond? Panelists will provide concrete, specific ideas on how farmers can profit in a market impacted by supply and demand factors. They will share insights on simulated market responses based on similar past growing seasons, as well as tips on what factors may influence future rallies, including a look at domestic politics, trade, interest rates, and government programs.



The Faces of Ag Innovation

Sponsored by Farm Credit


Moderator: Michelle Miller, The Farm Babe

Panelists: Dave Button, Founder, Row Shaver; Mitch Hora, CEO & President, Continuum Ag; Zach Macholan, Farm Credit Services of America; Michael Ott, CEO & Founder, Rantizo; Loran Steinlage, FLOLO Farms  


From drones that spray crops with pinpoint accuracy to a system that aims to reduce the production of herbicide-resistant weed seeds to digital platforms that are revolutionizing soil health management, this panel will showcase cutting-edge innovations in farming. Hear from innovative companies, farmers who use these new technologies and those who support and encourage their development. This panel will be moderated by Michelle Miller, the Farm Babe.



Communicating Outside Our Circle: Positioning U.S. Soy in a Changing Marketplace

Sponsored by United Soybean Board/Soy Checkoff


Speaker: Polly Ruhland, USB CEO/Moderator; Neen James, Leadership Expert; Vance Crowe, Communications Consultant & Podcast Host


The reach of the coronavirus pandemic crafted hardships for farmers worldwide, as it resulted in temporary and permanent changes to almost every market for soy and soy-based products. But despite these challenges, a unique opportunity has arisen for U.S. farmers to communicate outside their circle, sharing soy’s story to the general consumer and helping them understand just how much soy impacts the U.S. economy through its many uses.



Environmental Benefits of Precision Agriculture    
Sponsored by Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), American Soybean Association (ASA), CropLife America, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA)



Speakers: Curt Blades, Senior Vice President, Association of Equipment Manufacturers; Kellie Bray, Chief of Staff, Crop Life America; Nicole Hasheider, Director of Biotechnology & Crop Inputs, National Corn Growers Association; Ariel Wiegard, Director of Government Affairs, American Soybean Association    


Show me the data! Farmers often tout the environmental benefits of precision agriculture technology but have lacked macro-level analytical research to quantify those achievements to consumers. This session will discuss new analysis that puts data where agriculture’s mouth is on production increases, fuel savings, water use, fertilizer efficiency and herbicide application reductions.



From Data to Insight – Providing High-Quality Rations Every Day for Your Herd

Sponsored by New Holland


Speaker:  Brad Wenger, SPFH Sales & Marketing Manager, New Holland; Luke Zerby, Precision Land Management Marketing Manager


Near infra-red (NIR) technology helps you to better evaluate the nutritional value of your feed. Using an NIR system on a forage harvester lets you understand where variations in forage nutrition are coming from within the field.  From harvest, to storage, and data, learn how to identify variations in forage nutrition and make adjustments to improve feed quality.



Managing Resistance in Auxin Trait Systems

Sponsored by Valent U.S.A.


Speaker: Lowell Sandell, Field Market Development Specialist, Valent U.S.A.; Dr. Bryan Young, Professor of Weed Science, Purdue University; Dr. Kevin Bradley, Professor, Plant Sciences, University of Missouri; Dr. Aaron Hagar, Professor of Weed Science, University of Illinois


Palmer amaranth and waterhemp continue to be incredibly tough-to-control weeds with increasing herbicide resistance. Learn from Midwest University experts about the key to managing resistance of those tough-to-control weeds in auxin trait systems. Specific solutions will be discussed for those key challenges soybean growers are facing, including herbicide resistance, the long germination window of Palmer and waterhemp, and the short application window for auxin herbicides.



View from the Field: Ag Media’s Outlook on the 2021 Crop Year
Sponsored by BASF



Moderator: Robbie Upton, Director of Marketing, U.S. Crop at BASF
Panelists: Tyne Morgan, Host, U.S. Farm Report; Willie Vogt, Executive Director, Content & User Engagement at Farm Progress; Don Wick, President, Red River Farm Network    

Nobody straddles the line between today’s reality and the future’s potential like the ag media. While they are typically the ones asking the questions, this session will give us a glimpse of their opinions on some of the hottest topics in agriculture that will impact today and the future. Hear from our three media panelists on the latest crop protection registration issues as well as how the pandemic and global trade issues have affected and will affect marketing and trade plus learn about the latest innovations in ag to help you grow your crops. You’ll also have a chance to ask your questions directly to our panelists!



Grain Marketing 101

Sponsored by Farm Futures and Channel Seed


Speaker: Matt Bennett, Channel Seed Grain Marketing Consultant, farmer and former grain elevator manager


When producers have a business-minded approach towards their grain marketing, it helps to remove the emotional roller coaster of market shifts and world influences. We all have experienced these uncertainties and feelings. Attendees will learn to evaluate their farm’s marketing plan the same way an investor looks at an investment portfolio. The end result with this approach is a more effective marketing plan. When looked at as a return on investment, a producer will learn and realize at what levels they can safely market, based on their individual farm’s break-even points. By knowing their costs-of-production as well as typical production levels, the producer can target incremental price levels that, if reached, will ensure their farm maximizes the opportunities afforded by the markets.

While the session is built to give the novice grain marketer a no-nonsense, easy to understand grain marketing starting point, all grain producers should attend this session and anyone in production ag will have something to learn from the ideas and insight presented.  Audience participation is encouraged.



Challenging Agriculture’s Thinking

Sponsored by Successful Farming®


Speaker: Rob Sharkey, Farmer and SharkFarmer Media


Though mostly known for his witty dialogue on SharkFarmerTV, Rob Sharkey has spent years tackling not-so-popular issues in agriculture. Listen to why he feels it’s important to challenge conventional thought in ag.




US Farm Report: How to Thrive in Today's Bull Market

Sponsored by NK Seeds


Speakers: Tyne Morgan, U.S. Farm Report; Chip Flory, AgriTalk; Chip Nellinger, Blue Reef Agri-Marketing; Bob Utterback, Utterback Marketing


Commodity markets continue to thrive in volatility to start 2021. From record corn purchases from China to close January, to expectations for a monstrous soybean crop from Brazil, U.S. Farm Report marketing analysts will tell you everything you need to know about thriving in today’s bull market. U.S. Farm Report host Tyne Morgan will lead the discussion, and you’ll have a chance to ask analysts marketing questions, while also soaking in unique insight from John Phipps.



Mending the Stress Fence
Sponsored by American Soybean Association and Farm Credit


Speakers: Eric Karbowski, Michigan State University Extension

Moderators: Wendy Brannen, American Soybean Association, and Brittany Jablonsky, Farm Credit.


There are several uncontrollable risk factors that may cause stress for farmers, farm workers and agricultural professionals. Many farmers face financial problems, market uncertainties, farm transfer issues, production challenges and communication barriers. You may know farmers who struggle with stress, anxiety, depression, burnout, indecision, or suicidal thoughts.


This short program will help participants create self-awareness and provide them with tools and resources to help those in need.


Mending the Stress Fence is beneficial for those experiencing stress or those who live or work with those who may be experiencing stress. Note, this format does not reveal participants unless they voluntarily identify themselves by name in the chat feature and is a safe place to share personal stories and hear from others with like experiences.



Biologicals: How and Where Do They Work?
Sponsored by Calmer Corn Heads


Speakers: Dr. Fred E. Below, Professor of Crop Physiology, University of Illinois; Connor Sible, Research Assistant, University of Illinois


The biological product market available to corn and soybean growers has exploded recently with new technologies and management tools designed to enhance fertilizer use, reduce crop stress, stimulate soil microbial activity, manage crop residues, and improve soil health. Key questions for growers, however, are which products work best and under what conditions of crop management.  This learning session will highlight our efforts to categorize biological products based on their active ingredients and modes of action, and will summarize our going research findings on which products work, where they work, why they work, and most importantly what other management practices help to realize the full economic benefit of biologicals.