Wisconsin Cover Crops: Your Farm, Your Options
March 13-14, 2014 – Kalahari Resorts and Conference Center, WI Dells
"Planting cover crops decreases my input costs and increases fertilizer efficiency. Cover crops decrease Nitrogen losses by keeping a living cover on non-producing fields and helps to retain the nutrients I need when I need them."
-- Allan Brooks, No-till commercial vegetable farmer in Markesan, WI (March 14 Panelist)
Testimony like this is common-place for farmers that have incorporated cover cropping systems into their operations. Cover crops are increasingly being credited with improving soil health and adding to a farmer’s bottom line. The Wisconsin Cover Crops Conference – Your Farm, Your Options on March 13th and 14th, 2014 at the Kalahari Resort and Conference Center in the Wisconsin Dells, will include topics ranging from selecting the right variety to plant to how to plant no-till into cover crop residue. It will also allow an opportunity for farmers and researchers to set the cover crop research agenda for the future.
"Cover crops promote more microbial organisms for a healthier soil. Good yields come from healthy soils."
-- Tom Burlingham, No-till cash grains farmer in Palmyra, WI (March 13 Fishbowl Panelist)
The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI) are collaborating with UW-Extension to bring this conference to farmers, students, conservation staff, and anyone with an interest in cover cropping systems. Farmers from different regions of the state will come together on two different panels to discuss cover cropping in their operations. On the evening of Thursday, March 13th, there will be a keynote speech delivered by Dr. Dale Mutch, Michigan State Universtiy, followed by dinner. Showcasing the evening, a fishbowl panel of farmers and researchers will come together to discuss the cover crops research needs of the farming community, researcher insights for farmers, specific production systems topics on the adoption of cover crops into your operation, and innovations in the field of cover crops. On the morning of March 14th, a diverse group of farmers will discuss the benefits of cover crops, why they adopted them into their operations, and impart their knowledge on the use of cover crops rooted in experience.
“I am the Farm Manager of the Standard Process farm. We have 420 acres of vegetables, forage, and row crops. We are 100% certified organic. We have very high yield expectations for this farm. Year in and year out, we beat the state’s conventional yield averages (for the crops that have an average), and I am convinced it could not be done without cover crops.”
-- Christine Mason, Farm Manager – Standard Process, Palmyra, WI (March 13-14 Panelist)
In addition there will be 18 breakout sessions for conference participants to attend. Breakout session tracks include: Cover Crop Basics, Cover Crops Management, Cropping System Specifics, Economics and Risk Management, and the Multi-functionality of Cover Crops.
The early registration rate of $85 is available now and a discounted block of rooms have been reserved for conference attendees who indicate that they are attending the Michael Fields Conference.
More information can be found at the Michael Fields website: www.michaelfields.org