SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Global food security is a major concern as the population continues to increase, and an agriculture group aims at helping meet the challenge.

InfoAg conferences, which focus on the latest in precision agriculture, have been held every other year since 1995 and will become an annual event beginning in 2014.

The next InfoAg Conference will be held June 30 to July 3 at the Hilton Union Station in downtown St. Louis. The pre-conference tour will be held June 30.

During his address to kick off this year’s recent InfoAg, Steve Phillips, International Plant Nutrition Institute’s southeast U.S. region director, said starvation, malnutrition and poverty are serious challenges that the industry must address in the coming decade.

“If we’re going to be able to provide a nutritious safe food source for the growing population in the coming decade and do it in an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable way, it’s going to take all of us working together,” Phillips said to a record-breaking crowd of 1,100.

“And because these challenges are so great, we have received enough information and enough encouragement to believe that in holding InfoAg every other year we might be missing opportunities. The development of technologies is moving much faster now and at much faster adoption growth rates.

“We’re growing at a rate where we feel that we can continue to provide a conference of high quality and value to you on an annual basis. I encourage you to start making plans for now. It’s something we’re very excited about.”

InfoAg conferences focus on the application of precision technology and information management for crop production and feature a wide range of educational opportunities.

The event features prominent national and international speakers and includes plenary and breakout sessions in agronomy, business, issues and sponsor showcase.

In addition, hands-on workshops are offered allowing attendees to dig into software and get firsthand assistance in working through on-farm research, data analysis, nitrogen models, agricultural apps for smartphones and other topics.