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Conservation tillage conference is Feb. 18-19

By Jodi DeJong-Huges

University of Minnesota Extension educator

Roll up your sleeves for some practical, hands-on information that will save you soil, time, fuel and money. 

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Conservation tillage is the focus of the ninth annual University of Minnesota Extension Conservation Tillage Conference and trade show set for Tuesday and Wednesday, February 18 and 19 at the Holiday Inn and Suites, St. Cloud.

This event emphasizes proven farmer experience and applied science. It provides practical, how-to information on nearly every aspect of conservation tillage.

The conference is designed for experienced stewards looking to fine-tune their practices, crop consultants who help growers, or novices looking to get their feet wet.

Mark Seeley, UMN Extension climatologist/meteorologist, will give a keynote speech on how to improve soil resilience to best manage climate extremes.

He is a national expert on intense and frequent precipitation extremes and provides weather commentary to Minnesota Public Radio and to the MPR Updraft blog.

Experts from the University of Minnesota and neighboring states will present the results of extensive research comparing tillage systems, including strip tillage.

Experienced conservation tillage farmers will answer questions and provide tips, and exhibitors will showcase the newest technology, services and equipment directly related to conservation tillage.

The conference runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a social event following until 10 p.m. on Tuesday, and from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday. The trade show will be open both days.

Early bird registration is $125 per person; cost is $155 after February 4. The fee includes all food, handouts and eight continuing education units (CEUs). More information is available at, or contact

Jodi DeJong-Hughes at (320) 815-4112 or dejon


• Weed species shifts and control.

• Nutrient management in high-residue systems.

• Strip till strategies straight from veteran farmer practitioners.

• Subsurface drainage options.

• Proven cover crop strategies for your system to anchor nutrients, manage moisture extremes and provide free nitrogen.

• Soil health improvements with reduced till systems.

• Climate trends and soil resiliency.

• Vendor sessions featuring information on new equipment, products and technology.

• Farmer Panel offers practical insights and management tips from experienced northern strip tillers and ridge tillers.

• Beer and Bull offers the opportunity to share information with other farmers, consultants, vendors and researchers in a relaxed, informal setting.