Council to host cover crops meeting in West Lafayette
The Midwest Cover Crops Council will host its annual meeting Feb. 28-29 and the Greater Wabash River RC&D will follow with a workshop on Soil Productivity March 1, both at Purdue University's Beck Agricultural Center in West Lafayette.
The MCCC is a regional group dedicated to promoting the widespread adoption of cover crops across the Midwest. The meeting will focus on topics including cover crop selection, conservation benefits, management techniques, regulations, research and more. It is intended for a variety of participants, such as crop producers, Extension professionals, seed dealers, agency professionals and researchers.
"We are planning a program that includes farmer-producer panels to talk about their experiences with cover crops and tips they have learned from their experiences," said Eileen Kladivko, Purdue University professor of agronomy and MCCC Indiana state representative. "We have speakers from outside the region bringing in ideas from east and west of us, and we're going to have a number of speakers from the Midwest talking about nematodes, disease suppression, biofumigation, nitrogen cycling, economics and manure management with cover crops. We really hope producers will go away with new ideas - some they will be able to use immediately and some they can think about for the future."
Participants also will have the chance to learn about some of the big issues involving cover crops and to have their questions answered about various crops.
"One of the hot topics in cover crops is the oilseed radish. It's very exciting because as it grows you get a nice, big tuber, and it takes up a lot of nitrogen. It also can break up compaction," Kladivko said. "However, one of the questions is, although it takes up that nitrogen, does it release it at the right time for our main crop the next year? We'll have a few folks at the meeting who are talking about radishes, their various effects and how to manage them."
Registration for the Feb. 28 MCCC morning working session and afternoon session is free, but participants must register for lunch. Those who register for the Feb. 29-March 1 sessions by Feb. 14 can attend for $25 per day, or $40 for both days. After Feb. 14, the rates are $35 per day or $50 for both days. Registration fees include lunch and a copy of the Cover Crop Field Guide, which will be newly available at the meeting.
The Beck Agricultural Center is part of the Agronomy Center for Research and Education at 4540 U.S. 52 W., West Lafayette.
A brochure with registration, lodging and transportation information is available on the MCCC website at http://www.mccc.msu.edu/MCCCmeeting.html
In addition to the Midwest Cover Crops Council and Purdue University, meeting partners include the Greater Wabash River Resource Conservation and Development Council, Great Lakes Regional Water Program, Great Lakes Cover Crop Initiative and North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.