Innovative soil, water conservation practices focus of three seminars

Illinois farmers are invited to one of three seminars planned throughout the state which will focus on innovative soil and water conservation practices.   

One of the seminars is planned at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The one-day seminars will feature local agricultural producers and resource experts who will share information and personal experiences about soil health improvement options, cover crop success and nutrient management techniques.   

In December, USDA-NASS released the results of the 2015 Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, NLRS, Producer Survey.  

The results show an increase in the adoption of cover crops since 2011.  

With almost half a million acres of cover crops on tile-drained ground, farmers have more than doubled their use of cover crops in the five year period in the survey.   

Cover crops are plants, typically grasses or legumes, which are seeded into farm fields, either within or outside of the regular growing season.  

These crops can play an important role in erosion control, nutrient management, weed control, soil conservation and soil health.  

Research suggests they have a significant competitive advantage compared to the more traditional management practices, and they also may offer production benefits.    

The seminars are scheduled Jan. 24 in Rockford, Jan. 25 in Jacksonville and Jan. 26 at SIUC.

The Jan. 26 seminar is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the SIUC Student Center.

The agenda for the seminar in Carbondale includes:

Presentation of Illinois farmers on water quality and nutrient management issues.

Invasive species control. Moving the herd to cover crops. Soil health.

Scouting cover crops, “What to look for.” Riparian buffers and cover crops: Tools to address water quality. Local farmer panel discussion.   

The cost to attend each seminar is $20 per person, $10 per student, and lunch will be provided.   

The deadline to register is Jan. 10. Online registration is available at Payment can be made by check or credit card. 

Seminar coordinators include the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the American Farmland Trust, the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, the Illinois Corn Growers Association, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and local soil and water conservation districts.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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