University of Minnesota Extension will host its seventh Conservation Tillage Conference and tradeshow Feb. 17 and 18, at the Holiday Inn and Suites, St. Cloud, MN.

The day-and-a-half-long conference will provide practical, how-to information on nearly every aspect of conservation tillage. Learn how conservation tillage can save soil, time, fuel — and money. Besides saving valuable soil resources, conservation tillage has been proven to save $25-45 per acre in tillage costs. And that’s not including your labor.

“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 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:

  • Precision ag solutions
  • Weed species shift and control
  • Nutrient management in high residue systems
  • Strip-till strategies
  • Cover crops for your system
  • Soil health with reduced till systems
  • Vendor sessions: Learn about new equipment, products 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 the popular “Beer & Bull” session -- 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 Mark Seeley. Mark serves as Extension climatologist/meteorologist, coordinating weather and climate educational programs with the National Weather Service, the Minnesota State Climatology Office and various state agencies. His programs relate to the utilization of meteorological and climatological data for agricultural production systems and management of natural resources. He’s also active in the NOAA Climate Literacy Program. He has served as a weekly commentator on Minnesota Public Radio's Morning Edition news program since 1992. He also writes the weekly newsletter "Minnesota WeatherTalk" and helps produce a weekly science podcast for public radio called "Jet Streaming" and occasionally contributes to the Minnesota Public Radio daily weather blog "Updraft." 

The Conservation Tillage Conference runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tues., Feb. 18th, and from 8:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 19th. The tradeshow will be open both days.

Early bird registration fee is $125 per person (after Feb. 4 $155), which includes all food, handouts and nine continuing education units (CEUs). 

More information, including schedules, maps, contacts and exhibitor registration is available at www.TillageConference.com. Or contact Jodi DeJong-Hughes at 320-815-4112 or dejon003@umn.edu.