Ohio No-Tillage Conference is Dec. 3

Cereal rye is a popular cover crop. (Photo: OSU Extension)

PLAIN CITY, Ohio – With issues concerning water quality a high priority in Ohio, managing fertilizer and planting cover crops are some of the ways farmers can help improve the condition of the state’s water, according to experts with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

That will be the focus of the Dec. 3 Ohio No-Till Conference that will feature presentations from farmers and crop consultants, along with researchers and educators from Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college.

The conference will allow farmers to hear in-depth discussions from experts in the field who will draw upon their years of on-farm research and practices, said Randall Reeder, emeritus agricultural engineer with Ohio State University Extension.

The issues surrounding water quality in Ohio waters and other bodies of water are not only an environmental concern, but also one of economic impact to farm operations, Reeder said.

“With water quality issues in Lake Erie, the Gulf of Mexico and other bodies of water, keeping fertilizer and manure in the field is becoming more critical,” he said. “Lower prices for corn and soybeans make it more important to get the most out of every dollar that farmers invest in fertilizer.”

Topics to be discussed during the conference include:

  • Managing nitrogen and phosphorus application and timing.
  • Managing weeds in no-till and cover crops.
  • Introduction to “big data” and what it can mean to a farmer.
  • Planting into cover crops.

Cover crops are considered an important tool in reducing fertilizer runoff, Reeder said.

“More farmers are beginning to see the value in adding cover crops,” he said. “In Ohio, probably close to 50,000 acres are being planted with cover crops this fall for the first time.”

The conference is from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at Der Dutchman Restaurant, 445 S. Jefferson, in Plain City, Ohio. The day will begin with a welcome from David Brandt, president of the Ohio No-Till Council and operator of a 1,150-acre farm in Carroll, Ohio.

Early registration of $40 for the conference can be paid by Nov. 26. Onsite registration is $50. Registration includes lunch. A registration form with a full agenda for the day can be downloaded at fabe.osu.edu/notill. The form, along with a check payable to Ohio No-Till Council, can be mailed to: Mark Wilson, Land Stewards, 1122 Somerlot Hoffman Road East, Marion, Ohio 43302.

The conference is sponsored by the Ohio No-Till Council, with support from the Ohio Soybean Council, the Ohio Corn Marketing Program and more than 25 agri-businesses.

Tracy Turner
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Randall Reeder