Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference focus on soil health, water quality and profitability

Wondering how to build resilience with conservation agriculture? Want to learn about soil carbon marketing opportunities for farmers? What about how climate change affects soil carbon and soil health or whether phosphorus starter fertilizer is needed for corn?

The answers to these questions and more will be discussed during the annual Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference (CTC), held March 12-13 at the McIntosh Center of Ohio Northern University (ONU), 525 S. Main St., in Ada. CTC is presented by The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and other supporters.

The event focuses on providing information to farmers on promoting and maintaining soil health, said Randall Reeder, a retired Ohio State University Extension agricultural engineer.

From offering the workshop “New Technologies for On-farm Decision Making” and the discussion “Phosphorus: What We Learned from 45 years of Ohio Fertilizer Trials,” the two-day event is designed to provide opportunities “for farmers and crop consultants to learn about the latest technology and practices for conserving soil and improving water quality and how that can boost their financial bottom line while building healthier soils,” Reeder said.

Reeder is an organizer of this year’s CTC in conjunction with OSU Extension, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Northwest Ohio. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of CFAES.

CTC offers the latest research, insight, tips, and techniques on precision fertility, cover crops and manure, water management, technology and equipment, nutrient management, and advanced cover crops. It features some 60 presenters, including 25 CFAES researchers and Extension educators, and others from several universities, as well as farmers and USDA, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and industry representatives.

The event begins March 12 at 8:30 a.m. with a presentation by Alex Harrell, a soybean and corn farmer from Smithville, Georgia, who has established a new world soybean yield record with 206 bushels per acre. Harrell will offer the discussion “Maximizing Economical Soybean Yields.” 

Other conference sessions will include:

  • Using crimper crop rollers
  • Back to basics: Setting the foundation for nutrient management
  • Making cover crops and no-till work
  • Biologicals as part of a soil health system  
  • Using a systems approach for no-till and soil health
  • Soil carbon stabilization and permanence  
  • Selling soil carbon from no-till soils: Adjust for decrease in bulk density
  • Carbon and climate markets: Legal issues for farmers
  • Modeling carbon sinks and sources on farmland
  • Maximizing soybean yields
  • Cover crop nutrient uptake and value
  • Manure gas: Detecting the invisible hazard
  • Corn sidedress results, applying manure with the Cadman toolbar
  • Weed management considerations when planting green

The full schedule and registration information for the CTC can be found at ctc.osu.edu. Registration is $150, and it can be made online or by mail-in check.

Certified Crop Adviser continuing education credits are available, with an emphasis on soil and water management, crop management, and nutrient management. Certified Livestock Manager credits are also available. 

Other conference sponsors include Brandt Professional Agriculture, Pioneer, Calmer Corn Heads, CFAES’ Farm Science Review, AgCredit, The Andersons, Fenning Equipment, Ohio Soybean Council, Ohio Corn & Wheat, and The Nature Conservancy.

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