Events offer education on no-till, soil health and farm success

Events offer education on no-till, soil health and farm success

No-till on the Plains is Jan. 26-27 followed by AIM Symposium on Jan, 28; both events focus on keeping soil healthy

The recognition of soil as a living ecosystem and placing an emphasis on keeping that ecosystem healthy has become a major focus of the efforts of no-till farmers.

The end of January will find two events offering farmers an opportunity to learn how keeping soil healthy can boost farm success as the 20th No-till on the Plains Conference kicks off Jan. 26 and 27 and the annual Agriculture's Innovative Minds Symposium follows on Jan, 28,.

TALKING SEQUESTRATION: Kansas State Univeristy professor Charles Rice was a speaking at the 2015 No-till on the Plains Winter Conference, discussion climate change and the role of healthy soil in carbon sequestration.

The Winter Conference, themed “Celebrating Our History, Transforming Our Future,” features a new format with keynote speakers, 22 breakout sessions, beginner’s session, networking opportunities, rainfall simulator, trade show and industry market presentations.

“The 20th anniversary conference features the best speaker lineup you’ll find in one place,” said Steve Swaffar, executive director for No-till on the Plains. “These experts will help attendees put all the pieces together for a successful system.”

 Keynote speakers will break down global issues in continuous no-till and food production and their effects at the producer level. Speakers include Terry Fleck, executive director for the Center for Food Integrity; Dr. Kofi Boa, director of Ghana’s Center for No-till Agriculture; Dr. Dwayne Beck, research manager for Dakota Lakes Research Farm; and Ray Archuleta, conservation agronomist and soil health specialist for the Natural Resource Conservation Service.

 Attendees can choose from 22 breakout sessions to learn strategies for weed control, benefiting from insect cycles, integrating grazing, feeding soil with cover crops, discussing no-till with financial partners, managing soil fertility and much more. Producer panels will offer insights on continuous no-till in low- and high-moisture climates.

 The AIM Symposium is a one-day seminar examining how plants, insects and the soil communicate by releasing chemicals to send messages. This communication can benefit plants in need of resources or protection. Speakers include Jill Clapperton, principal scientist and co-founder of Rhizoterra Inc.; Jonathan Lundgren, research entomologist; and Jack Schultz, director of the University of Missouri’s Bond Life Sciences Center. The trio will offer an in-depth look at what communication means for soils, crop production and bottom lines.

 Online registration is strongly encouraged. Discounted pricing expires at 11:59 p.m., Friday, Jan. 8, and is as follows: $325 for Winter Conference, $250 for the AIM Symposium, and $500 for the combination. Pricing Jan. 9-18 is $350 for Winter Conference and $250 for the AIM Symposium. Visit notill.org to register and pay.

 Online registration will close after 11:59 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 21, and walk-in rates will apply thereafter at $400 for Winter Conference and $275 for the AIM Symposium. All rates are per person.

 No-till farming systems offer several advantages to producers willing to implement the system. Fewer trips across fields without tillage passes will reduce fuel costs. Increasing crops in rotations breaks weed and insect pest cycles. Increased crop residue and root systems will increase soil organic matter and microbiological activity, thereby increasing the productiveness and fertility of the soil. Implemented in a site-specific systems approach, no-till will, over time, outperform conventional tillage.

 No-till on the Plains offers field events, networking opportunities and the annual Winter Conference to provide crop producers with valuable no-till information. For more information, visit notill.org.

Source: No-till on the Plains

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