Virtual Conservation Tillage & Technology Conference 2021

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

The annual Conservation Tillage & Technology Conference (CTC) will be virtual this year. Instead of the usual 2-day conference at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio, CTC 2021 will be held on FOUR days, March 9-12 (Tuesday-Friday). There will be 5 hours of content each day. Tuesday will feature Crop Management information; Wednesday will focus on Nutrient Management; Thursday will highlight Pest Management; and Friday will cover Soil & Water Management. Each day will start at 8:00 a.m., and with breaks, finish about 2:00 p.m.

Panel discussions are a great format to get good information from varying perspectives. The Monday “Crop Talk at CTC” programs feature 5 panel discussion groups throughout the day.

Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension Soybean and Small Grains specialist

The morning begins at 8:00 a.m. with a discussion titled “Maximizing Soybean Yield,” featuring Dr Laura Lindsey from Ohio State, Horst Bohner from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, and Shawn Conley from the University of Wisconsin.

Following that, the topic will be “Meeting Soybean Fertility Needs,” featuring Dr. Steve Culman from Ohio State, Rachel Vann from North Carolina State, and Emma Matcham from the University of Wisconsin.

Weather is always a popular topic when discussing agricultural production. A panel discussing “Weather Impacts to Corn and Soybean Production”, will be led by Dr. Aaron Wilson from Ohio State, and feature Mark Licht from Iowa State, and also Ohio State’s Alex Lindsey.

The attention will turn to corn production with a panel discussing “Maximizing Corn Yield.” Former Ohio State Corn Specialist, Peter Thomison will lead a discussion with Chad Lee from the University of Kentucky, and Manni Singh from Michigan State University.
After the lunch break, a session will tackle “Maximizing Wheat Yield” featuring Ohio State’s Dr. Pierce Paul along with Carrie Knott from the University of Kentucky and Kurt Steinke from Michigan State University.

Later in the afternoon the Ohio Certified Crop Advisor of the Year, as well as Master Farmer Awards will be presented.

Throughout the week, a total of 20 hours of CCA continuing education units will be available, as well as 13 hours of Certified Livestock Manager (CLM) credits.

The Wednesday agenda at the Conservation Tillage & Technology Conference is a full day of “Nutrient Management” topics. Side-dressing Emerged Corn with a Drag Hose, and On-the-go Sensing of Liquid Manure Constituents will begin the morning. A look at OSU water quality projects, as well as a review of Ohio livestock permitting in 2020 will follow, as well as a look at the status of H2Ohio and voluntary nutrient management plans (VNMPs).

On Wednesday afternoon, a session that highlights “Cover crop benefits on N and P loss at the edge of field,” will be led by Brittany Hanrahan of the USDA-ARS. Harold Watters from Ohio State will take a look at the revised Tri-State Fertility Guide Numbers.

The Thursday agenda features “Pest Management” topics. Dr. Mark Loux, from Ohio State will discuss “The Superweeds, plus managing weed in non-GMP crops.”

Mark Loux OSU Extension Weed Scientist
Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Extension Weed Scientist

Bill Johnson from Purdue will talk about cover crops and weed suppression. Crop diseases will be covered by two of the Ohio State Plant Pathologists. Dr. Anne Dorrance will be discussing Soybean disease, and Dr. Pierce Paul will be talking about Corn and Wheat diseases. The morning will conclude with Dr. Kelley Tilmon and Dr Andy Michel from Ohio State discussing Corn, Wheat and Soybean Pests. After lunch, a pre-recorded Zoom Q&A will take place with all the presenters.

Friday, March 12 concludes the Conservation Tillage & Technology Conference with sessions focused on Soil and Water Management. Planting cover crops to increase soil organic matter (SOM), starts the day with a discussion led by no-till farmer Jason Mauck, from Gaston, Indiana.

Rick Clark, a no-till and organic farmer from Williamsport, Indiana, will share information on regenerative practices that increase water infiltration and improve water quality.

Joe Nester, CCA and owner of Nester Ag. will discuss “Nutrient Management that Minimizes Loss and Improves Water Quality.”

Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Jim Hoorman, of Hoorman Soil Health Services, along with Barry Fisher, of Fisher Soil Health, will discuss “Soil Health and Water Quality: No-till and Cover Crop Strategies to keep Phosphorus on the Land,” to wrap up the 2020 program.

To register for the virtual Conservation Tillage & Technology Conference, visit

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