California’s Conservation Tillage and Cropping Systems Workgroup will present educational tours and programs at three locations in California March 9-11 to convey information on innovative conservation tillage crop production systems that are being developed in irrigated regions of South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado and Washington. 

In addition to sharing information about the conservation cropping systems in these states, the speakers will discuss how the principles and practices can be implemented on California farms.

The first conference will be held March 9 at UC Davis. The second meeting convenes on March 10 at the SCE Ag-TAC facility in Tulare and continues in the afternoon with tours of three Central Valley farms. The final session is March 11 at the UC West Side Research and Extension Center in Five Points. The presentations at the three locations will be the same. There is no registration fee.

The three featured speakers, all national leaders in the practice of conservation tillage, are:

•    Dwayne Beck, manager of the Dakota Lakes Research Farm in Pierre, South Dakota. Beck has been inducted into South Dakota’s Hall of Fame for introducing cost-saving conservation tillage practices to the region’s agricultural industry when, in the early 1990s, farms were closing due to a lack of economic viability.

•    Mike Peterson, retired USDA NRCS Conservationist and currently the California precision tillage specialist for Orthman Mfg.  Throughout his career, Peterson has researched and developed information on strip-till approaches. 

•    Andy McGuire, cropping systems adviser with Washington State University in Moses Lake, Washington.  McGuire has been working to evaluate and develop high-residue cropping systems for the irrigated crops of the Central Washington region. 

“The main reason we invited these out-of-state experts is to learn how the conservation tillage systems they have developed relate to California,” said Jeff Mitchell, UC Davis Cooperative Extension cropping systems specialist and coordinator of the conference. “All of them come from areas where farmers practice irrigated agriculture. We are planning to very thoroughly and thoughtfully consider with them, through a series of dialogues and discussion, the relevance and application of their work on farms in California.”

Conservation agriculture systems reduce overall tillage or soil disturbance, maintain surface residues, seek make production systems more efficient, and reduce costs.  Speakers will address the integrated management of the conservation production systems.

For additional information on these conferences see the Conservation Tillage and Cropping Systems Workgroup website or contact Mitchell at mitchell@uckac.eduThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , (559) 646-6565

Source: Conservation Tillage and Cropping Systems Workgroup and Western United Dairymen