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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Reduce Inputs, Improve Bottom Line at Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference

January 26, 2009

ADA, Ohio -- In today's economic climate, no-till farmers looking to reduce production inputs without hurting yields or their bottom line may find some solutions at the Ohio State University Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference.

The event will be held Feb. 26-27 at the McIntosh Center of Ohio Northern University in Ada. Sponsors include Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Northwest Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Farm Service Agency, and the Ohio No-Till Council.

Registration before Feb. 15 is $40 per day or $60 for both days. After Feb. 15, the one-day price is $50, and to attend both days is $70. For complete registration and program information, log on to

"The Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference is intended to help farmers maintain or increase yields while fine-tuning inputs, including fertilizer applications," said Randall Reeder, an OSU Extension agricultural engineer and one of the conference organizers. "Farmers are looking at ways they can minimize potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen applications without hurting their yields, and make sure they put on the right amount and only where and when it's needed."

Over 100 sessions from nearly 60 presenters (farmers, industry professionals, and university specialists) from around the country will focus on cost-saving, production management topics including cover crops, soil fertility, nutrient management, crop management, soil and water, scouting, and precision agriculture.

Two new sessions are available this year: a pre-conference program on the science of cover crops, and an in-depth session on corn production on Feb. 26.

The Science of Cover Crop Benefits will take place Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and is a separate event from the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference. Registration to attend is $40. Topics being covered during this program include the fundamentals of cover crops and soil quality, soil ecology and nutrient recycling with cover crops, soil compaction and cover crops, biology of soil compaction, research on manure and cover crops, economics of cover crops, water quality and drainage, crop rotations, environmental benefits of cover crops with small grains, and using cover crops to produce home-grown nitrogen.

Also new to the conference is a five-hour in-depth program on corn production called Corn University. The program will take place Feb. 26 from 1:15 p.m. until 6:35 p.m., and will cover such topics as keys to super-high yields, transgenics, continuous corn with no-till and strip-till, silage, and maximum profit versus maximum yield.

"The purpose of the corn program is to help good corn producers become excellent corn producers," said Reeder, who also holds an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Other topics of special interest taking place during the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference include:

• The general session starting at 9:30 a.m., Feb. 26, includes: Agriculture in a New Political Environment, presented by Jim Moseley, former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Managing Risk Based on Weather Patterns, presented by Elwynn Taylor, Iowa State University agricultural meteorologist; and Grain marketing, presented by Matt Roberts, OSU Extension ag economist.

• Another full day on cover crops. This concurrent program will be held on Feb. 26 from 9:30 a.m. until 6:35 p.m.

• First detector training for the National Plant Diagnostic Network. The training teaches modules on monitoring high-risk pests, submitting diagnostic samples, and photography for diagnosis. The training will be held on Feb. 26 at 1:15 p.m.

• Two hours on intensive wheat management, presented by Phil Needham, Calhoun, Ky. His presentations will be held on Feb. 27 starting at 11 a.m.

• A program on precision agriculture, being held on Feb. 27 from 10:45 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. The program gives special emphasis on yield maps, autosteering, RTK networks, site-specific sampling and variable rate application.

Crop Certified Advisor credits be will offered during the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference. In 2008, 425 attendees received CCA credits.

Nearly 770 farmers, crop consultants and industry representatives attended the 2008 Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference. Farmers valued the education they received at $16 per acre, roughly a $4 million value. Crop consultants place a value on their educational experiences at $15 per acre for the land they influence, a total economic impact of about $250 million.

For more information, contact your local OSU Extension office, or go to, or call (419) 422-3851.

Candace Pollock
Randall Reeder