CHAMPAIGN — With the crazy 2019 weather, planting conditions and harvest delays, talk about cover crops in Illinois might be at an all-time high.
Farmers seeking information on all the sustainable and regenerative changes in agriculture should consider attending an upcoming 2020 Conservation Cropping Seminar Jan. 22 in Bloomington or Jan. 23 in Rochelle.
Among the speakers and special guests are Hans Kok, Indiana soil health consultant; Bryan Young, Purdue University weed and chemistry professor; and Rick and Aaron Clark, Illinois conservation farmers on the cutting edge of making things doable and profitable.
“These meetings can introduce farmers to the information, the scientific research, and testimonial evidence they need to take steps in transforming their own farm operations,” State Conservationist Ivan Dozier said. “Farmers learn from the speakers at these events, but they also learn from each other as they share successes and lessons learned,” Dozier said.
Farmers are encouraged to register early to reserve a spot at the location closest to them. They may register online at www.ccswcd.com or call the Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District at 217-352-3536.
Each seminar costs $20, payable by check or credit card, and it includes lunch. The 2020 events start early and end before 4 p.m., with time scheduled during the day to meet and visit speakers, sponsors, or chat with other participants in a small group setting.
According to Dozier, Illinois farmers are growing more interested in finding solutions and strategies that can improve success with challenging weather conditions.
“I believe more farmers are ready to take steps to make small improvements on their farm that make sense environmentally and economically. These seminars are the perfect place to begin having those conversations and start making those changes,” Dozier said.
The Jan. 22 seminar will be at The Double Tree Hotel, 10 Brickyard Drive in Bloomington. For information, contact Marty at 309-634-6243.
The Jan. 23 seminar will be at Hickory Grove Conference Center, 1127 N. Seventh St. in Rochelle. For information, contact Joe at 815-786-4373.
Primary sponsors and organizers of the seminars are the Illinois Department of Agriculture, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, American Farmland Trust, the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts.