No-till pioneers will be honored at conference
Two retired Ohio State University researchers will be honored in June for their pioneering efforts in no-tillage, a globally accepted production practice that led the United States into an agricultural revolution over 40 years ago.
Soil physicist Dave VanDoren and weed scientist Grover Triplett will be on hand at the Midwest Conservation Tillage Conference, June 19-20 at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster, Ohio. The researchers will be honored at a banquet beginning at 6:30 p.m. June 19 in OARDC's Fisher Auditorium. The banquet is open to the public and reservations are available.
"Initially, people laughed at them when they introduced the idea of zero tillage in corn and soybeans," said Warren Dick, an OARDC soil science professor. "The fields were very weedy and not attractive. Farmers were used to seeing neatly plowed fields."
Throughout the years, however, research results have shown countless benefits of no-tillage -- it boosts organic matter in the soil, reduces erosion and helps store water in soil, just to name a few -- which improves the performance of the plant and increases yields. Research continues in three no-till fields at Wooster, at OARDC's Northwest Branch in Wood County, and at the center's Western Branch in Clark County. The Wooster site has the longest continuously maintained no-till fields in the world. These field plots will be formally dedicated in Triplett and VanDoren's honor during the conference at 11 a.m. on June 20.
Dick, who has maintained the OARDC no-till plots since VanDoren and Triplett retired in the early 1980s, said that research in the fields covers everything from insect and disease pressures to crop rotation to cover crops and composts to soil properties -- all designed to provide no-till growers with the best information for production management.
"We've found slugs are a problem in no-till fields and we are still working to address that issue," Dick said. "But we also know that there is three times the organic matter on the soil surface in no-till fields than plowed fields; that no-till is the best way to build carbon in the soil; and the best yield results occur with continuous no-till rather than plowing every couple of years as was once thought."
Though no-till is not a perfect production practice, it provides agricultural opportunities in such countries as Brazil, Argentina and Australia where soils, typography and climate conditions may make crop production otherwise difficult to practice.
Other programs will be presented during the two-day conference, including the economics of no-till, environmental and wildlife benefits of no-till, future impacts of no-till, nutrient management, farmers' experiences, and the history behind no-till.
The conference is designed to bring together researchers, crop consultants,
farmers and equipment manufacturers who focus on conservation tillage.
The event will be from 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. June 19 and from 7:15 a.m.
to 5 p.m. on June 20. Registration for the conference is $50 before June
12 and $60 after that date. The banquet only is $20. The event is hosted
by OARDC and sponsored by Monsanto and John Deere. For more information
contact Randall Reeder at (614) 292-6648 or firstname.lastname@example.org,
or Warren Dick at (330) 263-3877 or email@example.com.