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Deadline Approaching for Conservation Cropping Seminars
Illinois Ag Connection - 01/09/2018

Director Raymond Poe invites Illinois farmers to participate and attend one of three seminars held throughout the state to learn more about innovative soil and water conservation practices. These one day seminars will feature local agricultural producers and resource experts who will share information and personal experiences on soil health improvement options, cover crop success and nutrient management techniques. The deadline to register for these seminars is Jan. 15.

Illinois farmers have become largely aware of the various practices that mitigate nutrient loss. In August 2017, the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) Biennial Report indicated 70-percent of Illinois farmers are knowledgeable about NLRS conservation practices. In fact, a recent NLRS producer survey points to farmers more than doubling their use of cover crops in recent years.

"These seminars are designed to not only address nutrient efficiency but also give farmers a firsthand account of what can be done, regionally, to increase production and yields," said Steve Chard, bureau chief of IDOA Land & Water Resources. "Here, producers will learn from innovative farmers who will share their success stories so that these practices can be implemented back home to improve soil health and restore water quality across our state."

Cover crops are plants, typically grasses or legumes, 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. Below is an agenda for each of the one day seminars:

Jan. 23 - Kankakee (8 a.m.-4 p.m.) -- Hilton Garden Inn, Contact: Joe Bybee (815) 787-5480

- NLRS Biennial Report Update
- 2017 Transect Survey Results
- Cover Crops A to Z
- Cover Crop Farmer Panel
- Economics of Soil Health
- Nutrient Cycling with Covers
- Nutrient Solutions IL NREC Results

Jan. 2 - Olney (8 a.m.-4 p.m.) -- The Holiday, Contact: Elliot Lagacy (217) 353-6603

- NLRS Biennial Report Update
- 2017 Transect Survey Results
- Resistance Weed Management
- Cover Crops A to Z
- Economics of Soil Health
- Cover Crop Farmer Panel
- Nutrient Solutions IL NREC Results
- Meet & Greet with Speakers, Exhibitors

Jan. 25 - Peoria (8 a.m.-4 p.m.) -- Holiday Inn & Suites, Contact: Elliot Lagacy (217) 353-6603

- NLRS Biennial Report Update
- 2017 Transect Survey Results
- Cover Crops A to Z
- Nutrient Solutions IL NREC Results
- Economics of Soil Health
- Aerial Application
- Cover Crop Farmer Panel
- Meet & Greet with Speakers, Exhibitors

The cost to attend each seminar is $20 per person, $10 per student, and lunch will be provided. Again, the deadline to register is Jan. 15. Online registration is at www.ccswcd.com/ConservationCroppingSeminars/. Payment can be made by check or credit card.

In addition to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, seminar coordinators include the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, American Farmland Trust, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Council of Best Management Practices and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

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