No-till on the Plains Winter Conference: Building wealth by building soil health
The No-till on the Plains Winter Conference is back at the Bicentennial Center in Salina, Kan., for its 17th consecutive year. "We are Stewards of the Earth: Building Wealth by Building Soil Health" is the theme for the Jan. 29 to 30, 2013, continuous no-till meeting.
The conference will feature Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Agronomist Ray Archuleta, whose enthusiasm for building soil health is contagious. The depth of his knowledge of the system will inspire and equip producers with information to cope with the weather extremes of today. Ray's presentation will prepare attendees to maximize their experience at the Winter Conference. His dynamic keynote presentation on Day 1 is not to be missed.
The Day 2 keynote will be delivered by Professor David R. Montgomery, author of "Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations," which makes the case that we are using up Earth's soil. Montgomery will trace the role of soil use and abuse in the history of societies and explores how soil has shaped us and we have shaped soil. Soil erosion should be seen as a threat to our planet as serious as climate change, contends Montgomery.
As always, No-till on the Plains has amassed a slate of excellent session presenters including producer speakers Rick Bieber, South Dakota; David Brandt, Ohio; Robin and Kelly Griffeth, Kansas; Kenneth Miller, North Dakota; Mark Watson, Nebraska; and Brian Hildebrand, Canada, as well as several producer panels who will share not only how they got started but what keeps them leading the pack with successful continuous no-till. Our producer speakers will also share how they dealt with and fared with the drought during the past year.
Rounding out the speaking lineup will be these featured experts: David Clay of SDSU will discuss how well-managed soil captures carbon; Brazilian consultant/researcher Ademir Calegari will share his vast knowledge of cover crops usage; "No-till Bill" Crabtree, who was a driving force for establishing no-till in Australia, will share his no-till experiences in an extremely dry environment similar to far western Kansas; Barry Fisher, Indiana's state agronomist, will share why his state has made soil health a priority; no-till producer Dan Gillespie of Nebraska NRCS will present the eye-opening rainfall simulator demonstration; Richard Haney, soil scientist, of the Grassland Soil and Water Research Lab in Temple, Texas, will explain new soil testing procedures for soil health; UNL's Paul Jasa will address the importance of conserving and managing soil water in no-till; Doug Kluck of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and Kansas Climatologist Mary Knapp will present on the challenges of climate extremes and the past, present and future of drought; agronomist Bill Kuenstler with the Central National Technology Support Center in Texas will share information on the evolution of cover crops; Dale Leikam of Manhattan, Kan., will discuss crop nutrition programs as well as newer fertilizer technologies, products, and additives; Doug Peterson, livestock producer and Grassland Conservationist for Missouri NRCS, will provide some great information on the principals of good soil health for cropland and rangeland; Dr. Ray Ward, a popular speaker with experience, knowledge and the ability to tie it all together for producers, will address the importance of what makes a soil productive; and professional motivational speaker Steve Siemens will inspire attendees with a closing keynote address on the pursuit of excellence as well as conference sessions on strategic thinking, leadership, and positivism.
Conference tradeshow exhibitors will share the latest in the industry with attendees. Industry Morning Marketplace exhibitor presentations begin at 9 a.m. on Jan. 29, and the conference fires up with Ray Archuleta at 12:45 p.m. Sessions wrap up that evening with time for networking with attendees and exhibitors.
On Jan. 30 the conference begins at 8 a.m. with author David Montgomery, lunch is provided, and the conference will conclude at 5:30 p.m. Attendees will receive a conference proceedings manual and more than 10 CCA credits are available.
No-till on the Plains also offers another full-day of education on Jan. 31 at the Bicentennial Center.
The Agriculture's Innovative Minds Symposium will examine the theme "The Use of Biological Primers to Advance Soil Health" and feature research scientists Dr. Jill Clapperton and Dr. Ademir Calegari, along with research entomologist Dr. Jonathan Lundgren and other invited guests, who will address the synergies and interaction of biological primers (cover crops) between plant species, soil microbes, nutrients, and the insect world. Attendees will gain perspective on the water and nutrient use and efficiency within the system. Valuable insight will be gained on timing of termination of these primers in their systems. Attendees certainly will not want to miss this dynamic opportunity to learn directly from those on the cutting edge of this technology.
For more information or to register for the Winter Conference or the AIM Symposium, contact the office at 888-330-5142 or visit the new No-till on the Plains website at www.notill.org.