Using cover crops and improving soil health remained hot topics in 2018 and the trend is not fading. In fact, the go-getters have already seeded their cover crops. What's stopping you? If you still need more information, start making plans now to attend a 2019 Conservation Cropping Seminar. Upcoming events include two powerful speakers you do not want to miss. Soil sustainability author David Montgomery and soil health rock star Ray Archuleta will wow crowds with information and demonstrations. Three new events are planned for January 2019, offering access to valuable information for farmers ready to make important and profitable changes on their ground. According to Elliot Lagacy, IDOA, "the three meetings throughout the state will help provide more information on such practices as cover crops, nutrient management, and soil health, which help address resource concerns outlined in the state's Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS)". Register to attend any seminar—January 22nd in Mendota, January 23rd in Springfield, or January 24th in O'Fallon, Illinois – at www.ccswcd.com.
Two keynote speakers for the 2019 event are David Montgomery, author of A Growing Revolution—Bringing Our Soil Back To Life, and the energetic and inspirational retired NRCS agronomist and spokesman for USDA-NRCS's Unlock the Secrets of the Soil campaign, Ray Archuleta. Montgomery combines ancient wisdom and modern science for a powerful look at agriculture changes we face today. Archuleta shares evidence, enthusiasm, and more as he tells the story of soil biology and the miracle below our feet. Each event will feature both Montgomery and Archuleta as well as research and local farmer testimonials and discussions where you can ask the questions you need answered.
Each seminar costs $20, payable by check or credit card, and it includes lunch. The 2019 events start early and end before 4:00 pm, with time to meet and visit speakers, sponsors, or chat with others in an informal networking atmosphere. Illinois farmers, ag retailers and advisors are growing more interested in taking steps to increase conservation and improve water quality. "Five soil and water management credits are available for Certified Crop Advisors also," Lagacy adds.
These events offer producers an opportunity to gather facts and make decisions that fit their own operation. To learn more and to register, visit the Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District website www.ccswcd.com. Local businesses and organizations can exhibit, serve as sponsors, and reach local and new clients. See website for details. Primary sponsors and organizers include Illinois Department of Agriculture, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, American Farmland Trust, the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts.