VIRTUAL CONFERENCE PROGRAM
Today's top no-tillers, agronomists and researchers attended the 2021 Virtual National No-Tillage Conference to join a lively and interactive online “community” to learn and network alongside other attendees, presenters and no-till solutions providers.
Did you miss the 2021 conference? You can replay each of these profit-boosting presentations for just $199. Sign up here.
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Join the staff of No-Till Farmer to honor individuals, businesses and organizations who have made major impact on the growth of no-till systems in the U.S. and across the world. (Made possible with the support of Calmer Corn Heads)
General Session: How Embracing Diversity, Innovation Breeds No-Till Profitability — Loran Steinlage, No-Tiller, West Union, Iowa
There was a point when Loran Steinlage was fairly content with raising corn and soybeans like many Corn Belt farmers. But getting his first taste interseeding in 2006 sparked a wave of hunger and creativity in Steinlage, as he’s turned to a multi-crop rotation that to build soil resiliency and productivity on his 750-acre operation.
Soil regeneration is different from soil sustainability, which could be seen as maintaining a degraded resource. Soil biological activity is key to regenerative processes and is crucial to building more robust, profitable no-till systems, says soil microbiologist Kris Nichols.
General Session: Building a Dynamic No-Till System That is Efficient, Effective & Profitable — Annie Dee, No-Tiller, Aliceville, Ala.
When Annie Dee’s family moved to Alabama, it meant a transition from farming white sand in Florida to working with heavy, abused clay soils in their new location — making planting and establishment of cash crops very difficult. But turning to high-tech, conservation-based farming has significantly brightened the results and outlook for the family’s 4,000-acre operation.
AgroLiquid and No-Till Farmer will recognize 3 no-tillers judged to be environmentally, economically and practically responsible with their no-till nutrient management programs. The fertility practices and techniques utilized by these top-notch no-tillers — recognized as Responsible Nutrient Management Practitioners — will provide you with some valuable ideas to consider in your own no-till operation for the coming year.
Conservation Learning Circle: Women in Ag — This panel discussion is by and about women in various roles in agriculture, discussing the importance of women being involved in conservation and soil health practices. Panelists include:
Even though Rick Clark has realized much success with a progressive no-till program, he’s not one to rest on his laurels. There’s always something new happening at the Williamsport, Ind., no-tiller’s farm, where he raises corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and field peas, while also managing a 200-head cow-calf operation.
General Session: How Understanding the Rhizophagy Cycle Can Transform Your Nitrogen Management — John Kempf, Crop Health Consultant and Founder of Middlefield, Ohio-based Advancing Eco Agriculture Learn more
Although nitrogen is one of the most essential nutrients for plants, it’s also among the most expensive inputs on no-tillers’ ledgers and the subject of long-running debates on what form is most efficient and cost-effective. But John Kempf says many of these questions can be answered by understanding the rhizophagy cycle and using that knowledge to manage nutrients in a way that improves crop health and profits while increasing resilience to weather stress.
General Session: Putting 60-Inch Corn Rows to the Test with On-Farm Research — Jack Boyer, Strip-Tiller and Retired Ag Engineer, Reinbeck, IowaLearn more
The concept of planting corn in 60-inch-wide rows — introduced at the National No-Tillage Conference by ag consultant Bob Recker a few years ago — has attracted the interest of many no-tillers across the Midwest. This system permits no-tillers to capitalize on additional sunlight and interseed cover crops in the early summer, getting them well established before harvest. Farmers can even graze the covers for additional economic and soil health benefits.
General Session: Cutting Your Herbicide Dependence with Alternative Weed Control Strategies — Steve Groff, No-Tiller, Holtwood, Pa. Learn more
Legal and regulatory scrutiny continues to proliferate for popular herbicides such as Roundup, paraquat and dicamba. In fact, bans of certain herbicides by some European countries and food industry giants could be harbingers for what no-tillers will face in the future as crop production faces increased scrutiny, says Steve Groff.
Building Disease Suppressive Soils, Higher Yields with the Plant Health Pyramid — John Kempf, Crop Health Consultant and Founder of Middlefield, Ohio-based Advancing Eco Agriculture Learn more
While the science behind soil health is important, the ultimate goal for most no-tillers is building a farm ecosystem that is regenerative and capable of helping them be low-cost producers with profitable operations. There are definitive, practical steps to achieving both soil health and plant health through achieving steps outlined in the Plant Health Pyramid, says John Kempf.
Building a Brighter Future with a Diversified No-Till Operation, Jay Baxter, No-Tiller, Georgetown, Del.Learn more
Jay Baxter had big shoes to fill when his father passed and he took the reins of their family farm. But his family has moved the ball forward, implementing no-till practices, cover crops, high-tech irrigation technology and other practices on their 2,000-acre farm near Georgetown, Del.
New Challenges with Herbicide Resistance and How No-Tillers Can Fight Back, Bob Hartzler, Weed Specialist at Iowa State University ExtensionLearn more
Herbicides have been a backbone of agriculture since the 1960s and still play an important part in successful no-till systems. But herbicide resistance has become a major threat to farm production. New resistance problems are appearing more quickly than before and are largely being driven by a different resistance mechanism in the plants, says Bob Hartzler.
7 Steps to Better No-Till Agronomic Thinking, Marion Calmer, No-Tiller, Alpha, Ill.Learn more
Many farmers attend trade shows, seminars, browse the Internet and read magazines looking for truthful information to better their operations. Then they try to utilize those “truths” by integrating them on their own farms, says Marion Calmer.
Two Divergent Roads for No-Tillers: Which One Will You Choose? John Ikerd, Ag Economist, Author and Professor Emeritus at the University of MissouriLearn more
Fundamental change in American agriculture is no longer an option — it’s an absolute necessity, says John Ikerd. One road to the future promises to fix the ecological, social and economic problems of today’s agri-food system with new biological, digital and mechanical technologies. The other road promises to avoid today’s problems by creating food and farming systems that are inherently resilient, regenerative and socially responsible.
Twin-Row Practices that Make No-Tilling More Profitable, Roger Wenning, No-Tiller, Greensburg, Ind.Learn more
Strategies for Developing Variable-Rate Seeding and Fertilizer Programs, Mark Chapman, No-Tiller, Bowling Green, Ky.Learn more
Dialing in correct seeding and fertilizer rates for variable-rate applications can be challenging but the potential cost savings and possibly improved yields make it worthwhile. Mark Chapman writes all the prescriptions for his no-till farming operation and has developed a systematic approach to setting seeding and fertility goals and identifying how to achieve them in the midst of multiple complicating factors.
Experience Through Experiments: a Learn by Doing Approach to No-Till Productivity, Jon Stevens, No-Tiller, Rock Creek, Minn.Learn more
It’s been said that if you aren’t experimenting, you aren’t learning. This is a philosophy that fifth-generation farmer Jon Stevens has adopted to diversify and drive profitability on his 700-acre Rock Creek, Minn., operation. Transitioning into no-till in 2013 after decades of full-width tillage, Stevens wanted to improve soil health and reduce fertilizer costs.
Hitting the Fundamentals of No-Till Seed Placement and Seedling Development, Tom Cannon, No-Tiller, Blackwell, Okla.Learn more
For several reasons, seed placement in no-till is fundamentally different from tilled systems, but vigorous stands in no-till are more attainable than you might think. You can achieve consistent stands every year in every field, says Tom Cannon.
No-Till Planting 101: Getting Back to the Basics, Bill Lehmkuhl, Owner of Precision Agri Services and No-Till Planter Expert, Minster, OhioLearn more
The last few years have reinforced the importance of proper no-till planter setups. Getting consistent seed-to-soil contact in less-than-ideal conditions can be challenging, regardless of experience. But a working knowledge of essential do’s and don’ts for no-till planter setup — from attachment selection and settings to precision technology must have’s — can increase the likelihood of success.
How Reduced Tillage, High-Residue Systems Can Help Growers in the Arid West, Jeff Mitchell, Conservation Specialist, University of California-DavisLearn more
Although California is often seen as the epicenter of environmentalism, that hasn’t been the case with the state’s diverse, arid and irrigated cropping systems. Degraded soils and endangered water supplies have created major challenges for growers, says Jeff Mitchell.
30 Tips for Controlling Slugs and Voles in No-Till, Jim Hoorman, Soil Health ConsultantLearn more
Slug and voles are major pests when no-till and cover crops are used together, as this system can provide beneficial food, shelter and habitat for them. Both thrive in dense, lush moisture and vegetation and so understanding the life cycle of these pests and learning how to manage the environment is the key to minimizing their population, says Jim Hoorman.
Getting Off the Starting Block with Interseeding, Loran Steinlage, No-Tiller, West Union, IowaLearn more
Interseeding offers many no-tillers — including those ‘Up North’ with shorter growing seasons — the opportunity to get cover crops established earlier in year and maximize the benefit for their investment. But beginners may find it tough getting questions answered on how to get to started successfully.
Filling the Bin with New Market Opportunities, John Ikerd, Ag Economist, Author and Professor Emeritus at the University of MissouriLearn more
n ongoing quest for alternatives to conventional food choices has been magnified by the coronavirus pandemic. The movement to mitigate global climate change, coupled and growing scientific evidence of the environmental and public health impacts of the industrial agri-food system, had already fueled explosive growth in organic food sales and triggered a vibrant local food movement says John Ikerd.
Farming for 2030: Building a More Resilient No-Till Operation, Frank Rademacher, No-TIller, Gifford, Ill.Learn more
There are countless threats facing agriculture: crop pests, market volatility, stagnant grain prices and environmental scrutiny. The solution for Eric Rademacher and his son, Frank, was eliminating tillage, and by 2017 they adopted no-till and cover crops on their entire 600-acre operation near Gifford, Ill.