Registration has opened for the Conservation Technology Information Center’s 2013 Conservation In Action Tour, which will explore innovative conservation practices in and around the Indian Creek watershed in Livingston County, IL, July 9-10. Celebrating the theme of Community 4 Conservation, this year’s tour will bring together agriculture leaders from all over the country – including farmers, crop advisors, regulators and lawmakers – to learn and share conservation practices.
“This is our sixth tour and we anticipate having our largest audience ever,” said Karen A. Scanlon, executive director of the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) in West Lafayette, IN. “Because our audience is so diverse and brings such a variety of perspectives and experiences, the dialogue that happens throughout the program is always unique and beneficial.”
On the Tour, participants will meet farmers building productive operations while protecting water quality. They will visit with civic and business leaders from the town of Fairbury, IL, who have been deeply involved in the Indian Creek Watershed Project that has made the county a national leader in conservation farming demonstrations – and a model Community 4 Conservation. They will also see proven, sustainable, profitable conservation technologies that fit local management strategies, and get a chance to network with a nationwide group of conservation leaders.
Hands On and Interactive
The Tour will include an up-close look at aerial seeding of cover crops, as well as a chance to delve deep into a soil pit to explore cover crop root systems at Bachtold Farms. One of several speakers, Mike Plumer, a retired University of Illinois researcher and renowned cover crop consultant, will share insight on managing cover crops.
Another major focus of research for agriculture in Illinois and many other states is nutrient management. Tour participants will walk demonstration plots with producers and researchers, comparing an array of nutrient management practices and learning about programs to track plant-available nitrogen. Nearby, producers will also elaborate on their manure management strategies.
Participants will also have a chance to kick the tires on a variety of conservation farming equipment, including cutting-edge variable rate fertilizer technology application machinery like the Greenseeker system.
A visit to Trainor Farms will provide a look at on-farm research on drainage water management, nitrogen use efficiency and saturated buffers, which is building insight into strategies that limit off-farm flow of nutrients into rivers and streams.
A farmer panel will discuss how conservation practices enhance economic sustainability as well as protect resources in a Q&A session, summing up the Tour’s emphasis on real-world solutions to real-world challenges.
Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in the Bloomington-Normal area will serve as the tour base. Call reservations at 800-627-7468 before June 16 and mention the CTIC Tour to receive a special rate.
Register before June 1 to get the early registration discount. Registration includes the July 9 evening social and drinks, snacks, bus transportation, breakfast, lunch and dinner on Tour.