Attending Annual Conservation Tillage Conference Benefits Bottom Line

ADA, Ohio – Farmers who’ve attended Ohio State University’s Conservation Tillage Conference in the past say information they’ve gleaned from the annual event has helped them increase their farm operation’s financial bottom line, according to a survey by researchers from Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

In fact, some past farmer participants have reported that information they’ve gained from attending the numerous workshops and presentations offered during the CTC conference has resulted in an average gain of $13 to $16 per acre in farm values, said Jim Hoorman, an Ohio State University Extension educator, assistant professor and conference co-organizer.

Last year, more than 900 farmers, growers, landowners, Certified Crop Advisers and others attended the CTC conference, which is offered each March by OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

And organizers expect similar if not larger numbers for this year’s conference March 4-5 in Ada, Ohio, at Ohio Northern University, which will feature some 60 presenters, including more than 20 CFAES researchers and Extension educators, farmers and industry representatives. In addition to a “Corn University” and a “Soybean School,” information presented will include cover crops, nutrient management, water quality, advanced scouting and machinery, and precision farming.

OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college. The overall impact of the conference is felt statewide, considering that nearly half of its participants are CCAs who are able to take the knowledge they’ve gained from CTC and use it when they’re advising farmers, Hoorman said. “That’s significant considering that CCAs consult on an average of 40,000 to 50,000 acres of Ohio farmland,” he said. “And when you consider that more than 400 certified crop advisers typically attend the conference, that’s millions of acres of farmland that benefit from the conference.

“Most farmers say they’ve picked up at least one or two new ideas of how they can improve their farming operations, including practices that result in less soil erosion and more efficient uses of nutrients and inputs on their farms,” Hoorman said. Some of the biggest gains in knowledge have been in the benefits of cover crops, nitrogen management and precision farming, according to survey results.

Randall Reeder, a retired OSU Extension agricultural engineer and an organizer of the annual CTC conference, said the researchers and other agriculture industry professionals that lead the conference’s workshops and presentations do so with a goal to present information that leads farmers to potentially produce higher yields at less cost and earn higher profits. “The ultimate goal of the conferences is to keep providing the most current information to farmers and CCAs for the benefit of all farmers, producers and landowners across the region,” Reeder said. “And ultimately the people who benefit the most are consumers who are able to have access to the best quality products as a result.”

The CTC conference is March 4-5 at the McIntosh Center of Ohio Northern University in Ada. The full schedule and registration information can be found at http://ctc.osu.edu. Participants may register online or by mail. Registration for the full conference is $85 (or $65 for one day) if received by Feb. 21. Information is also available in county offices of OSU Extension. The conference is sponsored by OSU Extension, OARDC, the Ohio Soybean Council, the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, Northwest Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Ohio No-Till Council.

For more information on the survey, contact Hoorman at 419-523-6294 or hoorman.1@osu.edu.

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