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Whirlwind No-till Expo set for June 16


No-till on the Plains, Inc. will host a summer event that will provide producers with ways to increase profitability and gain a better understanding of the importance of soil health. By utilizing continuous no-till, over 5 inches of water can be saved per acre, greatly improving dryland yields. Fuel and labor requirements can be cut by 50 percent or more. Soil erosion by wind and water can be reduced by an average of 4 to 14 tons per acre, greatly reducing blowing dirt and surface water pollution.

The Whirlwind No-till Expo is set for June 16 in Marysville, Kan., and will kick off promptly at 8:45 a.m. at St. Gregory's Catholic Church Parish Hall at 1310 Carolina. The Expo includes a delicious roast beef lunch. The event is free but pre-registration is required by June 10 for attendance.

Funded through a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, this exceptional educational event is sponsored in part by Tuttle Creek and Middle Kansas WRAPS.

Power-packed hands-on learning will take place featuring expert speakers as well as experienced local no-tillers from the area, Merle and Kim Holle. Merle Holle has been an agricultural crop and livestock producer for 57 years with 17 years in no-till. Merle retired in 2009 and Kim is now the sole operator. Kim dryland farms on silty clay and clay loam soils with approximately 30" of annual rainfall. Through the use of continuous no-till the Holle's have experienced the successes of better soil structure, less soil erosion, additional water retention, cleaner runoff (cleaner water in waterways), increased average yield, lower input costs and labor savings.

Featured speakers include Kristine Nichols, Ph.D., soil microbiologist for USDA Agricultural Research Service in Mandan, N.D.; Ray Ward, Ph.D., president of Ward Laboratories and highly knowledgeable no-till expert from Kearney, Neb.; University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Engineer Paul Jasa, who is a great source of information in the Midwest on no-till planting equipment and system management; and Emporia, Kan., producer Gail Fuller, who has been 100 percent no-till since 1995. He dryland farms on loams and silty loams with approximately 32" of annual rainfall. Gail owns a small feedlot and is incorporating livestock, intensive grazing, and cover crop cocktails into his no-till system. These prestigious speakers all work closely with No-till on the Plains, have spoken at previous meetings, and are well-respected by those in the no-till community.

After a morning of indoor speaker presentations, producers will have the opportunity to travel to the Holle farm located northwest of Marysville on Harvest Road to observe a soil pit with excellent demonstrations and discussion. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for this afternoon portion in the field.

No-till on the Plains has hosted well over one dozen Whirlwind Expos since 2001 across Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma, impacting thousands of producers in those states. Executive Director Brian Lindley shares, "Regardless of your experience level with continuous no-till, this event will meet--and hopefully exceed--your needs through the motivation, vision and experience of our excellent speakers. Come ready to learn!"

No-till on the Plains is a regional organization that reaches over 3,000 producers yearly. The producer-run group promotes practical and scientific application of continuous no-till farming and is currently setting up an online No-till University to provide education world-wide. For more information on the Whirlwind No-till Expo or to pre-register by June 10, contact No-till on the Plains, Inc. at 888-330-5142 or register online at www.notill.org.

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