For spring 2008, the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will offer the following distance-delivered mini-courses for academic credit, noncredit professional development and CEU credit. Visit the department's Distance Education and Life-Long Learning Program Web site at http://www.agronomy.unl.edu/newprospective/distanceed.html for more information, or contact Cathy Dickinson, cdickinson2@unl.edu, 402-472-1730. Individuals interested in taking courses for noncredit or CEU credit can register online through the ADEC eStore at: https://estore.adec.edu.


Crop and Weed Genetics: Jan. 14 – Feb. 18, 2008. Registration Fee: $150 ($200 after January 7)
This mini-course focuses on the genetic basis for variation observed in the field among crop varieties and weed populations, and provides insights into the development of new traits in crop varieties. Students learn how to apply classical and molecular genetic principles to explain variation observed in plant families and populations, and to intrepret information gathered from whole-plant trait observation and molecular analysis. Examples from genetic studies on both crop and weed species are presented for student evaluation, and the relationships between crops and weeds are discussed.

Animal, Food and Industry Uses of Grain: Jan. 14 – Feb. 29, 2008. Registration Fee: $150 ($200 after January 7)
This mini-course is an introduction to genetic development and production practices and procedures for drying, handling and storing grain intended for special end-uses. Topics discussed include the processing and utilization of corn and sorghum grain for animal, human and industrial uses; and grain quality characterstics for various end-uses and their measurement.

Production of Specialty Grain Crops: March 3 – April 18, 2008. Registration Fee: $150 ($200 after February 25)
This mini-course is an introduction to plant breeding and the production and handling of grain for animal, food and industrial uses. Topics discussed include the principles of plant breeding and molecular genetics; the influence of production practices on grain quality; and preservation of grain quality from field to processor, with emphasis on grain drying, strorage and handling practices on-farm and in the elevator. Case studies involving successful specialty grain entrepreneurs are also presented.

Specialty Grain Utilization Package (includes both of the above specialty grain courses): Jan. 14 – April 18, 2008. Registration Fee: $250

Spatial Variability in Soils: Feb. 1 – May 2, 2008. Registration Fee: $150
Topics discussed in this precision ag mini-course include: why it's important to understand spatial variability; what's manageable, what's not; sources and scales of variability; spatial information resources, public and self-generated; spatial tools, such as GPS and GIS; and introduction to quantifying variability.

Advanced Plant Breeding Topics: February 6 – March 6, 2008. Registration Fee: $150 ($200 after January 30)
This mini-course focuses on plant breeding for high- and low-yielding environments, selection vs. evaluation environments, the concept of genotype by environmental interactions--what they mean and how they are measured, the importance of understanding crossover interactions and breeding for "droughty" environments as an example of stressful, low-yielding environments.