BROOKFIELD, Wis. — Behind the theme “Pathways to Higher No-Till Profits,” the National No-Tillage Conference (NNTC) returns to Indianapolis, the “Crossroads of America,” for the 8th time in the conference’s 27-year history.

Three veteran farmers known for their innovative approach to managing dynamic no-till systems — Carroll, Ohio, no-tiller David Brandt; Rock Hall, Md., no-tiller Trey Hill; and Lewiston, Idaho no-tiller and renowned farm business consultant Dick Wittman — headline No-Till Farmer’s early speaker announcements for the conference, slated for Jan. 8-11, 2019 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.

Additionally, longtime cover crop expert Steve Groff, a no-tiller and consultant from Holtwood, Pa., will host two separate workshops on the event’s first day geared toward helping both farmers who are early adopters of cover crops and educators understand successful seeding strategies.

David Brandt
Trey Hill
Dick Wittman
Steve Groff

Here are the highlights of the early speaker announcements:

  • In his general session, Brandt will help no-tillers understand how they can get more ROI from covers as a result of reducing fertilizer costs without sacrificing yield. Brandt will also share research data on 25 different corn hybrids seeded into high-biomass cover crops that examined differences in corn emergence, stands and yield.

    In his classroom session, Brandt will discuss what he’s learned from many years of interseeding cover crops into cash crops on his 1,100-acre farm, including what cover crop species have worked best and how it has impacted yield.
  • Hill will make his first speaking appearance at the NNTC, discussing many of the cutting-edge planting and nutrient management practices being implemented at Harbourview Farms in Maryland. Hill will share in his general session how he effectively no-tills cash crops across 13,000 acres and cover crops across the entire farm, while still doing his part to safeguard the environmentally sensitive Chesapeake Bay watershed.

    He’ll discuss the advantages and challenges of planting cash crops green into living cover crops vs. planting brown, and share some of the game-changing goals he’s set for his operation as he participates in Bayer CropScience’s FarmForward initiative.

    In his classroom presentation, Hill will outline how he uses the whole no-till toolbox to manage nitrogen with precision to raise profitable crops and protect the environment.
  • Wittman will also make his first speaking appearance at the NNTC. In his general session, Wittman will profile the evolution of his farm’s no-till practices over the last four decades, supported by the formation of the Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Assn.. He will discuss the importance of balancing economic concerns with environmental benefits to improve profitability and quality of life in no-till operations.

    Wittman’s classroom presentation will introduce the “principles of process improvement” as he shows no-tillers how they can implement process improvement on their farm, including developing standard operating procedures and identifying the risks of operating without them.
  • Groff’s “Training the Trainers on Cover Crop Adoption” workshop is for agronomists, seed salespeople, NRCS/Extension agents, researchers and other stakeholders in agriculture whose job is to work with growers to adopt cover crops and provide technical assistance or guidance.

    Groff will discuss roadblocks to adoption, setting realistic goals, what to do or NOT do when sharing anecdotes from innovators, and how to help growers understand the proper mindset for successful adoption. He’ll also cover mistakes cover crop seed salespeople need to avoid and share tips for organizing field days helpful for growers.

    In Groff’s “Cover Crop Basics for Rookies and Early Adopters” workshop, he’ll discuss the mentality needed to make cover crops work, how to set realistic goals, evaluating the payback of covers and the pros and cons of different seeding methods. He’ll also provide answers to common challenges for cover crop adopters, such as termination timing, nitrogen tie-up, herbicide carryover and planting green effectively.

The cost for either workshop is $75. Attendance will be limited to 75 people at each event on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees must choose only one workshop and will not be permitted to attend both. Sign up when you register for the conference.

NNTC 2019 will include 12 general session presentations, 23 classrooms and 80 roundtable discussions for customized no-till learning. Additional speaker announcements will be revealed at the newly redesigned

Register online today for just $304, an $85 savings off the full rate. Save even more when you register additional farm/family members for just $279.

The event is co-sponsored by No-Till Farmer and 14 industry-leading companies, including Ag Leader Technology, Case IH, Equipment Technologies (Apache sprayers), Exapta Solutions, Fennig Equipment, KB Seed Solutions, Montag Mfg., Needham Ag Technologies, Precision Planting, The Andersons PureGrade, Syngenta, Titan International (Goodyear), Martin-Till Planting System and Yetter Farm Equipment.