HAMILTON SQUARE, N.J. — The first New Jersey No-till and Cover Crop Conference will be Dec. 13 at Hawk Pointe Golf Course in Washington, N.J. The day-long conference features nationally renowned experts in the field of no-till and cover crops and cutting-edge ideas and strategies to improve the profitability and efficiency of your farm operation. Five break-out sessions will address specific topics such as cover crop spring termination, slug mitigation, species selection and organic no-tilling. And to top it all off, the conference includes door prizes, demonstrations, great food — you’ll even be able to receive pesticide credits.
No-till farming (also called zero tillage or direct drilling) is a way of growing crops or pasture from year to year without disturbing the soil through tillage. A cover crop is a plant that is used primarily to slow erosion, improve soil health, enhance water availability, smother weeds and help control pests and diseases. Cover crops have also been shown to increase crop yields, break through a plow pan, add organic matter to the soil, improve crop diversity on farms and attract pollinators. There is an increasing body of evidence that growing cover crops increase resilience in the face of erratic and increasingly intensive rainfall, as well as under drought conditions.
The conference is designed to educate farmers and provide a space for farmers to discuss how to use no-till practices and cover crops more successfully on their farms. Jim Hersey, president of the Pa. No-Till Alliance, and Lucas Criswell, a farmer of more than 1,500 acres with more than 30 years of experience using no-till and the cover crop will share their experiences and expertise. These expert farmers are getting incredible yields with fewer inputs in thanks to their dedication to soil health.
Five break-out sessions will enable more in-depth conversations about a wide range of topics including:
- Strategies for Fighting Slugs, weeds and pests
- Lead by Dr. John Tooker, Associate Professor of Entomology, Penn State
- Managing Spring Cover Crop: Secrets to a Successful Termination
- Lead by Eric Rosenbaum, Rose Tree Consultant
- Cover Crop Application Methods: Succeeding with Aerially Seeded Cover Crops, Interseeder, High Crop Spreader and more.
- Lead by Christian Bench, North Jersey RC&D Agricultural Specialist
- Selecting the right cover crop species for your farm system
- Lead by Jon Stutzman, owner of Stutzman Crop Care
- Cover crops in organic, vegetable and perennial production systems
- Lead by Dr. Galdis Zinati, Associate Research Scientist, Rodale Institute
The event is being organized by North Jersey RC&D and is expected to sell-out so be sure to get your tickets early.
Visit www.northjerseyrcd.org/conference for more information and to register.
— New Jersey Farm Service Agency