The annual ‘Conservation Tillage Conference’ not only offers educational programing directly to farmers who are able to attend, it also offers training for certified crop advisers who in turn use that knowledge to advise farmers throughout Ohio who aren’t able to attend.
Of the 900 people expected to attend the event, nearly half, 400, are certified crop advisers, said Harold Watters, an Ohio State University Extension agronomy field specialist and coordinator of the university’s Agronomic Crops Team. Watters is also an organizer of this year’s CTC offered March 2-3 in conjunction with OSU Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Northwest Ohio.
OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms of The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
Certified crop advisers are required to attend 40 hours of continuing education every two years to maintain their certification, Watters said. CTC offers continuing education sessions that focus on soil and water management, nutrient management, crop management, and pest management, he said.
“CTC delivers value to certified crop advisers and, as a result, a value to farmers who are their clients,” Watters said. “Many decisions made on the farm today are made by advisers as often as farmers themselves, so our goal is to provide these professionals information they can pass on to farmers to help them increase and improve yields in an environmentally sound, effective, immediate way.”
Certified crop advisers’ clients can range from 20 to 100 farmers, so providing this information to them has a significant benefit on growers across Ohio, he said.
“This conference was originally developed to assist farmers to adopt more conservation tillage practices, including no-till,” Watters said. “However, the conference has evolved to include a focus on soil and water management programing as well as nutrient management education created to deal with ongoing concerns in the region about erosion, water quality and nutrient loss.
“The conference will also offer a focus on Ohio’s water quality concerns and on some of the ways to deal with those issues, including how to save money, improve water quality, and manage soil erosion and nutrients.”
CTC will offer the latest research, insight, tips and techniques on precision fertility, cover crops and manure, water management, technology and equipment, nutrient management, and advanced cover crops. It features some 60 presenters, including 25 CFAES researchers and Extension educators, as well as farmers and industry representatives.
The CTC conference will be held at the McIntosh Center of Ohio Northern University in Ada. The full schedule and registration information can be found at ctc.osu.edu. Participants may register by mail through Feb. 21 or online through Feb. 26 for $65 for one day or $85 for both days. Walk-in registration is $80 for one day or $105 for both days.
Information is also available from county offices of OSU Extension.
Other conference sponsors include the Ohio Corn Marketing Program, Ohio Soybean Council, Farm Science Review, John Deere, Ag Credit, Seed Consultants and the Ohio No-Till Council.