Strip-till is on a par with conventional tillage systems, “but yield is not the only consideration. Strip-till minimizes trips across the field, reduces labor, decreases energy use and results in less soil degradation.”

Water will be at the core of future research challenges. “We have to improve water conservation.” Part of the challenge will be to provide information to users and then show them how different products, techniques and production systems will work on a particular field. “We can see a lot of similarities in farms here and those in Arkansas and Missouri,” he said. “But there are also a lot of differences. We need to show farmers what’s available and how it fits on their particular operations. We have the tools; we just need to use them judiciously.”

Educational opportunities are important, too. “Knowing how to find and use information will be a key. Our annual field day is a small part of that but we need to go beyond that.”

Funding for agricultural research will be a big challenge.

Another key will be “our ability to convince the public that biotechnology is OK. We can’t take that for granted. Lack of knowledge by the public is an issue. But a lot of foreign countries need biotechnology to become more self sufficient.”