Illinois Dept. of Agriculture hosting Conservation Cropping Seminars for Farmers

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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) will be sponsoring a series of one-day seminars to catch farmers up on the latest information concerning soil and water conservation practices.

These series of seminars will begin January 26, with a seminar taking place at the iHotel & Conference Center in Champaign. Other seminars will follow in Godfrey and Milan. Each seminar will focus on its own agenda.

All three seminars will feature local agricultural producers and resource experts sharing information and personal experiences on soil health improvement options, cover crop sources and wise nutrient management techniques.

The seminars will feature IDOA coordinators, along with representatives from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, American Farmland Trust, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Illinois Council on Best Management Practices, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

Bureau Chief of IDOA Land and Water Resources, Steve Chard says these seminars provide an opportunity for farmers, producers and land owners alike to gain valuable information on the environmental and economic benefits of cover crops.

Cover crops are plants, typically grasses or legumes, seeded into farm fields either within or outside of the regular growing seasons. IDOA officials say these types of crops have several benefits.

A survey of Midwestern farmers by USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program found higher corn and soybean yields in fields where cover crops had been planted.

“This is also a great chance for those individuals to network with other farmers and producers in order to gain knowledge, insight and skills that can benefit their farms and their bottom line,” Chard says.

The seminars will be held from 8 AM to 3:30 PM. There is a $20 per person registration fee. Lunch will be provided.

Those interested in learning more about the seminar agendas and registering can go online to the Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District’s website and click the CCS logo. Payment is available through check or credit card.

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