The latest perspectives on critical issues in crop production and protection for corn and soybean growers will highlight a series of regional conferences scheduled at five sites during Jan. 14-18, 2008.

The 2008 University of Illinois Corn and Soybean Classics will cover a wide array of hot topics, including economic returns for corn and soybean. Other sessions will cover strip tillage, foliar fungicides for corn, the corn and soybean basis, corn rootworm management, soybean cyst nematodes, corn following corn, soybean aphids and waterhemp management.

Scheduled speakers include U of I Extension specialists Darrel Good, Fabian Fernandez, Gary Schnitkey, Carl Bradley, Mike Gray, Terry Niblack, Emerson Nafziger, Kevin Steffey and Aaron Hager.

The day-long programs are scheduled at the Rend Lake Conference Center in Whittington on Jan. 14, the Crowne Plaza in Springfield on Jan. 15, the i Wireless Center (formerly The Mark) in Moline on Jan. 16, Kishwaukee College in Malta on Jan. 17 and the Interstate Center in Bloomington on Jan. 18.

"We are presenting five regional meetings to provide as many corn and soybean growers across the state as possible with the opportunity to participate in multidisciplinary presentations on critical issues in the areas of crop production and plant protection," says Aaron Hager, weed scientist with U of I Extension. "We have brought together many of the leading experts on these topics in a format that is designed to promote in-depth discussion and interaction."

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the program will start promptly at 9:00 a.m. Adjournment at each site is set for 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. Certified Crop Advisor credits will be offered in the following areas: professional development (1.0), crop management (0.5), nutrient management (0.5), and integrated pest management (3.5).

The pre-registration fee for each session is $45 through Dec. 22, 2007. The late registration fee or registration at the door will be $60.

Registration is available on-line at http://www.ipm.uiuc.edu/conferences/ or by calling Sandy Osterbur at 217-244- 2124. Additional information is available by contacting Aaron Hager at 217-333-4424.