Along with updates on the latest developments in crop protection, the University of Illinois' 2003 Crop Protection Technology Conference will feature an array of speakers and topics on many of the ‘hot' issues that are confronting the agriculture industry today.

The event is scheduled for Tuesday, January 7 and Wednesday, January 8, 2003 at the Illini Union on the U of I campus. Sponsors include the U of I's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) and U of I Extension.

"The conference focuses on the latest developments in crop protection and the increasing importance of new technologies in agriculture," said Mike Gray, professor in the UI's Department of Crop Sciences and program co-chair.

Gray notes that the format for the 2003 conference allows participants to "tailor-make" their two-day experience. The morning session on the first day of the conference will feature keynote addresses that focus on issues associated with homeland security and ag bioterrorism.

"The format for the following sessions allows participants to choose from among six symposia and 15 seminars to fulfill their educational needs," Gray said.

The six symposia include coverage of environmental stewardship and spray drift, invasive species, improving water quality and natural resources, key pest and crop management issues, stewardship of transgenic technologies, and new developments in crop production products.

"The 15 workshops will focus on important issues in plant diseases, weed, insects, soil and water management, and on sharpening in-season skills," Gray said. "Participants will be able to invest their time learning about different subjects by mixing their attendance at both symposia and seminars."

Certified Crop Advisor credits will be offered in the following areas: crop management, pest management, and soil and water management.

The preregistration fee for the conference is $90. Registration after December 20 or at the door will be $105. Special rates at participating hotels are available for those attending the conference.

Participants will receive a copy of the 2003 Illinois Agricultural Pest Management Handbook and the Proceedings of the 2003 Crop Protection Technology Conference and a complementary Illini Crop Pro CD that contains the 2003 IAPMH, the Proceedings, the 2003-2004 Illinois Agronomy Handbook, and the complete 2002 Pest Management and Crop Development and Pest Management Bulletin.

Registration and program information on the 2003 Crop Protection Technology Conference is available from U of I Conferences and Institutes at (217)333-2880 or toll-free at (877)455-2687. Registration is also available on the Internet at www.conted.uiuc.edu/fmpro/cptc2003.html.