Learn how conservation tillage can save soil, time, fuel – and money.

The University of Minnesota Extension will host the seventh annual Conservation Tillage Conference and tradeshow Feb. 9 and 10, at Bigwood Event Center, 921 Western Avenue, Fergus Falls, MN, just off U.S. Interstate 94.

The day-and-a-half-long conference will provide practical, how-to information on nearly every aspect of conservation tillage.

"Whether you are an experienced steward looking to fine-tune what you are doing, a crop consultant who helps growers or a novice looking to get your feet wet, you should put this conference on your calendar now," says Jodi DeJong-Hughes, Minnesota Extension tillage specialist and conference coordinator.

Experts from the University of Minnesota, neighboring states and Canada will present the results of extensive research comparing tillage systems, including strip tillage. In addition, experienced conservation tillage farmers will answer questions and provide management tips.

Conference topics include:

•Matching tillage systems with soil types

•Weed species shift and control

•Nutrient management in high-residue systems

•Residue breakdown strategies

•Tractor efficiency and traction

•Introduction to vertical tillage.

 

New at this year's conference:

•Stump the Tillage Specialists: Question tillage experts from Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin

•Vendor Sessions: Learn about new equipment and technology

 

The popular "Farmer Panel" will be back again, offering practical insights and management tips from experienced northern strip tillers and ridge tillers.

Also back is "Beer & Bull," your chance to pick the brains of other farmers, consultants and researchers in a relaxed, informal setting.

The conference will open with a provocative keynote speech from Bruce Vincent: "With vision, there is hope." Vincent is a third-generation logger from Libby, MT, who believes America is ready for a new vision of conservation and environmental stewardship based upon hope, not fear. "During the past 20 years, he has given motivational speeches throughout the U.S. and the world on how to educate consumers about agriculture in a truthful and balanced way," DeJong-Hughes says.

Sponsored in part by Corn & Soybean Digest, the Conservation Tillage Conference runs from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 9, and from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 10. The tradeshow will be open on Feb. 9 only.

The registration fee is $140/person, which includes nine continuing education units (CEUs). An early bird fee of $115 is offered for those registering by Jan. 31, 2011.

More information, including schedules, maps, contacts and exhibitor registration is available at http://www.TillageConference.com. Or contact Jodi DeJong-Hughes at 507-337-2800 or dejon003@umn.edu.