WICHITA, Kan. — Allowing soils to regenerate is the key to bottom-line success and the advanced session of No-till on the Plains Winter Conference is the perfect place to learn more.
The prestigious Agriculture’s Innovative Minds (AIM) Symposium will take place on February 1, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency and Century II, Wichita, Kan. The masters-degree level session is set to give attendees tips on how to regenerate their soils while producing high-quality, profitable grains. The AIM Symposium builds on the themes of the annual Winter Conference with additional research, testimonials and one-on-one interaction with industry speakers.
The AIM Symposium begins on Feb. 1 with a kick-off from Dr. Christine Jones, social ecologist and founder of “Amazing Carbon,” as well as a series on managing the carbon cycle, will speak to AIM attendees on interactions between fertilizers and soil carbon. Her research stems from decades of work in regenerative land management, biodiversity, nutrient cycles, carbon sequestration, water quality and community health.
The second segment of the day features Derek Axten, owner and operator of a diversified grain farm in southern Saskatchewan. Joining Derek during the innovative cropping practices session will be Dr. Jill Clapperton, co-founder of Rhizoterra Inc. Both Derek and Jill will speak about improving soil health by seeding intercrops, companion crops and cover crops. Increasing plant diversity and intensity to feed the soil biology, which in turn regenerates the land.
The final segment of the day will be a panel of producers using innovative grazing systems to improve soil health. Josh Lloyd, grower from Clay Center, Kan., and former president of No-till on the Plains, will talk about how livestock his experiences returning a cow-calf operation back onto his farm as a way to provide short-term income from cover crops and the hair sheep flock he uses behind his cattle.
Also on the speaker panel is Daniel King, a third generation owner/manager of Jako Farm, a grass-based, multi-species seasonal farm near Hutchinson, Kan. The operations grassfed cattle and lambs are raised from birth on grass/legume pastureland that does not receive herbicides, pesticides or commercial fertilizer. The farm also produces pastured poultry that graze on grass and insects. King will speak on how the farm direct markets more than 100 products to 2,000 customers seeking non-GMO, chemical free-food that surpasses organic standards.
Other producers sharing their successes on the innovative livestock panel are Keith and Ben Thompson from Osage City, Kans. who use a 3-year perennial grazing system in their cash crop rotation; and Joshua Svaty from Ellsworth, Kans. who grows Kernza, a perennial small grain, in his rotation as forage for his livestock.
“We are beyond excited for AIM this year,” Ryan Speer, president of No-till on the Plains, said. “I personally am ready to hear from these top speakers to help manage and improve my own bottom line. Their topics are extremely timely and diverse enough to make the day of advanced soil health info more than worth my time.”
— No-till on the Plains