To view PDFs of the individual presentations, click on the links below.
John Koepke and his family own and operate a 350 cow dairy farm in SE Wisconsin. They are 2011 Leopold Conservation Award Winners and 2011 Dairy Men of the Year and have been no-tillers for more than 25 years: John Koepke’s Presentation
Gerard Troisi is crop advisor/production consultant since 1991, consulting on 24,000 acres in central PA. He works with operators who no-till or are transitioning, and is skilled at increasing production on marginal soils while reducing input costs and adjusting production practices: Gerard Troisi’s Presentation
Lucas Criswell and his father farm in the hills of the Chesapeake Bay watershed in central Pennsylvania. They have been no tilling for over 30 years and now utilize high residue cover crops: Lucas Criswell’s Presentation
by Kirsten Workman, Agronomy Outreach Professional
(Originally published on the WAgN Blog on May 28, 2014)
The growing season if finally starting to take hold. I have seen corn plants poking through the ground, vegetable crops starting to look like something edible, and first cut hay is on the ground in some places with hopes of a dry day to bale tomorrow. And with a new growing season comes all the hope and suspense of another year…all the potential for the best year ever or the worst, or maybe something in between. Farmers are going all out this week. We may not be able to predict what the weather will do this year, but one thing is for certain. Farmers in Vermont are innovative.
As I traveled from farm to farm today, I had the pleasure of talking with several different farmers – all of whom are trying something new this year. I saw fields of winter rye that were ‘planted green,’ that is no-till planted corn into standing rye before the cover crop was terminated. Innovation. I measured out 16 strips in a soon-to-be corn field with one farmer to help analyze two different reduced tillage systems this year. Innovation. He wants to interseed three different cover crops over those strips once the corn is up. Innovation. Another farm rounded out a SARE partnership project that analyzed two different cover crop mixes by no-till planting corn into those cover crops right next to a conventionally managed part of the field to see how these two systems will perform on his farm. Innovation. Another farm asked to borrow our GPS and try their hand at some precision agriculture. Innovation. A vegetable farmer is trying out different strategies to implement cover crops in his rotations for green manure, weed suppression, mulch and livestock forage. Innovation. A soybean grower has just modified his corn planter so he can no-till soybeans in 30-inch rows and will be trying out higher populations and some interseeded cover crops in those same soybeans. Innovation. I talked to three farms who have agreed to partner on a cover crop mixture demonstration project and will be hosting field days on their farms to share the results. Innovation. I have spoken with several farmers this week growing new crops like chicory, quinoa, and berseem clover. Innovation. I emailed with a new member of the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition who is excited to be part of a farmer-based watershed group looking to protect Lake Champlain and thriving agriculture in Vermont. Innovation.
As you walk around your own farms, identify the many ways you are being innovative. As you drive down the road, what are your neighbor farmers doing to be innovative? If you see some fields this year that look a little different – instead of wondering if something went wrong, maybe its just another Vermont farmer trying something new.
Did you miss the symposium…here is some of the information that was presented during the two-day conference.
The UVM Extension Champlain Valley Crop, Soil & Pasture Team and the Northwest Crops & Soils Program were joined by farmers and technical advisers at the first conference in New England dedicated to No-Till and Cover Cropping systems for field crop growers in our area. We welcomed speakers from around the country and from Vermont – including Extension specialists and researchers, farmers and consultants.
Click the picture below for the PDF version of the conference proceedings.
The Champlain Valley Crop, Soil & Pasture Team is pleased to announce two fantastic events in November:
November 8th * 10:00 am to 11:30 pm * Ferrisburgh, VT No-Till Cover Crop FIELD DAY
Can no-till, cover crop mixes and manure work in corn silage on the clay soils of the Champlain Valley?? We’re trying to find out. Please join us at the site of one of our on-farm research trialsJoin the Champlain Valley Crop Soil & Pasture Team and Deer Valley Farm as we share our preliminary results from our Cover Crop Diversity in No-Till Systems SARE Partnership Project. Come check out our on-farm research plots of two different cover crop mixes in corn silage on CLAY SOIL
November 14th * 10:00 am to 2:30 pm * Bridport Community Hall Champlain Valley Grazing Symposium
Join us as we wrap up this year’s grazing season and think ahead to next year! Come hear how planned grazing can be fun and profitablee. Troy Bishopp, aka “The Grass Whisperer” is an accomplished grazier on his own farm in NY state, in addition to working with the Madison County Soil & Water Conservation District/Upper Susquehanna Coalition as their regional grazing specialist. Troy brings a holistic approach to grazing planning by helping farmers chart a course that pays attention to their personal goals as well as their profits. Julie Smith, UVM Extension Dairy Specialist, will also be here to discuss how to manage and troubleshoot common herd health issues including Johne’s, BVD, and nutritional deficiencies. Julie’s focus is on biosecurity and preventive animal health management. Hope to see you there!