Conservation Tillage & Technology Conference March 5 and 6

By Randall Reeder, Ohio State University Extension

CTC at Ada, March 5-6 (Tuesday-Wednesday), will feature about 75 speakers on a wide range of topics. Here are a few highlights.

Bob Nielsen, Purdue U., returns, speaking about on-farm research. The session on Precision Ag & Digital Technologies includes several of our County Extension Educators discussing their on-farm research results (published in the 2018 eFields book).

Nutrient Management is a hot topic to be covered by 11 speakers. A Water Quality session on Wednesday includes results of several research projects. Many of the speakers both days are intent on keeping P and N on the farmland and out of waterways leading to Lake Erie or the Gulf of Mexico. This session starts at 8:00 am.

The Soil Health and Cover Crops session also starts at 8:00 am, in the Chapel. Featured speakers include NRCS Soil Health Specialists, Barry Fisher and Jim Hoorman. Jason Weller, formerly Chief of NRCS and now with Land O’Lakes, will speak on “Venture Conservation: Public + Private Solutions for Healthier Soils.”

In addition to Bob Nielsen, Corn University includes Kurt Steinke of Michigan State and Emerson Nafziger, Illinois.

General Session. This session starts at 9:00 am with two major awards. The Ohio Certified Crop Advisers will recognize an outstanding member of the year, and Ohio Farmer magazine will honor two Master Farmers.

Our keynote speaker is Christine Jones, a soil ecologist from Australia. Her topic is “Building new topsoil through the Liquid Carbon Pathway for long term Productivity and Profit.” She will speak again later in the Chapel on “Quorum sensing in the soil microbiome.” If these topics have you scratching your head, don’t worry. She will leave you amazed and wanting to learn more about life in the soil.

Tuesday concurrent sessions. In summary, participants have four concurrent sessions to choose from on March 5: Cover Crops, No-till and Soil Health; Nutrient Management; Corn University; and Precision Ag & Digital Technologies.

Wednesday sessions. Four concurrent sessions on March 6 are: Soybean School; Water Quality Research & BMPs; and half-day sessions on Cover Crops Issues and Benefits; New Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations; Soil Balancing (Calcium Magnesium ratio); and Identity Preserved Crops.

Steve Culman, OSU Soil Fertility Specialist, organized the Soil Balance (morning) session and the Tri-State Recommendations (afternoon) session. These sessions include several OSU faculty and include discussion of gypsum, sulfur, starter P and N, and micronutrients.

Soybean School features Extension Specialists from four universities, including Shaun Casteel (Purdue) and Carrie Knott (Kentucky).

The Identity Preserved Crops session has five presentations including “How to talk to the public about GE/GMO crops” by Paul Vincelli, U. of Kentucky.

Website: The complete schedule, registration details, and list of local accommodations are available online. The early registration cost is only $85 (or $65 for one day) until Feb. 21. CCA credits and CLM credits are also listed.


Evening Session, March 5, 4Rs

            The Nutrient Stewardship Council and The Nature Conservancy are sponsoring a 4R recognition and sign-up reception Tuesday evening during CTC (March 5) from 5:30-6.30 pm at The Inn at ONU. Certified and non-certified Ag retail facilities who attend can enjoy free drinks, appetizers, and a chance to win a 4R Program application fee voucher ($600)! Look for an email invitation. Or contact Andrew Allman,, for more information and to RSVP.

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