How-to information, expert advice, practical tips
By Jodi DeJong-Hughes, Extension Educator - Crops and Conservation Tillage Conference Coordinator
Roll up your sleeves for some practical, hands-on information that will save you soil, time, fuel -- and money. Conservation tillage is the focus of the ninth annual University of Minnesota Extension Conservation Tillage Conference and trade show Feb. 17 and 18, at the Holiday Inn and Suites, St. Cloud, MN. This conference emphasizes proven farmer experience and applied science. Straight from the trenches, learn how heavier, colder soils aren't necessarily the challenge they're made out to be. And, what have long-time no-tillers and reduced-tillage farmers learned that could spare you the same lessons?
Whether you are an experienced steward looking to fine-tune what you are doing, a crop consultant who helps growers, or a novice looking to get your feet wet, you should put this conference on your calendar now.
Conference highlights include:
• Weed species shifts and control
• Nutrient management in high-residue systems
• Strip till strategies straight from veteran farmer practitioners
• Subsurface drainage options
• Proven cover crop strategies for your system to anchor nutrients, manage moisture extremes and provide free nitrogen
• Soil health improvements with reduced till systems
• Climate trends and soil resiliency
• Vendor Sessions: Learn about new equipment, products and technology
The popular "Farmer Panel" will be back again, offering practical insights and management tips from experienced northern strip tillers and ridge tillers.
Also back is "Beer & Bull," your chance to pick the brains of other farmers, consultants, vendors and researchers in a relaxed, informal setting.
Experts from the University of Minnesota and neighboring states will present the results of extensive research comparing tillage systems, including strip tillage. In addition, experienced conservation tillage farmers will answer questions and provide management tips. Exhibitors will showcase the newest technology, services and equipment directly related to conservation tillage.
The day-and-a-half-long conference will provide practical, how-to information on nearly every aspect of conservation tillage.
The conference will open with a provocative keynote speech from Mark Seeley, UMN Extension climatologist/meteorologist. He'll discuss how to improve soil resilience to best manage climate extremes. He is a national expert on these more intense and frequent precipitation extremes that have challenged us recently, and he also provides weather commentary to Minnesota Public Radio and to the MPR Updraft blog. Don't miss his thoughts on adapting with different soil and water management practices.
The Conservation Tillage Conference runs from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (social event following till 10:00 p.m.) on Tues., Feb. 18th, and from 8:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 19th. The trade show will be open both days.
Early bird registration fee is $125 per person (after Feb. 4th $155), which includes all food, handouts and eight continuing education units (CEUs).