Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation
University of California
Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation

Cultural shift: Putting strip-till to work on the West Coast

August 2, 2019

The 6th Annual National Strip-tillage Conference took place last week August 1st and 2nd in Peoria, IL and attracted a crowd of over 300 farmers who were mostly from the IL, IA, WI, MN, and OH region.  However, a strong contingent of folks from CA including Cary Crum, Silas Rossow, and two colleagues from California Ag Solutions in Madera, and two Kings County dairy farmers, along with CASI's Jeff Mitchell, also took part.  The way this conference series (as well as the  National No-till Farmer Annual Conferences) is organized with plenary, classroom and roundtable discussion sessions tends to provide a very nuts and bolts opportunity for the overwhelmingly farmer audience to actually talk with each other about very practical and important issues that they have encountered in their quest to move to strip-tillage.  This year's event had a very strong current of interest in cover crops which were quite commonly used among the farmers in attendance.  Another fairly prominent theme that was addressed by several of the plenary session speakers was about the importance of speaking out and telling the story of ag to everyone and to more and more people.  Other fairly ‘cutting edge' techniques that were discussed were interseeding cover crops into standing cash crops and variations on the “planting green” theme which means planting crops directly into green standing cover crops.  As well, there was a relatively large interest among participants in organic strip-till systems.  The importance of these sorts of events and learning activities is maybe not so much that they provide information and thinking that is directly or immediately relevant to our particular conditions or systems in CA, but rather that they offer us the chance to learn about what folks in other regions are doing and why they're doing what they're doing to grapple and achieve the improved performance systems that they're seeking to achieve.  Reducing disturbance, maintaining surface residue cover, improving soil function, improving ROI, and diversifying markets were all overriding themes that were addressed by many participants, - and these are largely quite universal goals of many farmers.  Additional information about the conference and the ongoing outreach efforts of the National Strip-Till Farmer Magazine is available at https://www.striptillfarmer.com/

 

CASI’s Jeff Mitchell delivering presentation on “Changing the production landscape with smarter strip-till practices” at the 2019 National Strip-till Farmer conference in Peoria, IL, August 1st and 2nd 2019
CASI’s Jeff Mitchell delivering presentation on “Changing the production landscape with smarter strip-till practices” at the 2019 National Strip-till Farmer conference in Peoria, IL, August 1st and 2nd 2019

CASI’s Jeff Mitchell delivering presentation on “Changing the production landscape with smarter strip-till practices” at the 2019 National Strip-till Farmer conference in Peoria, IL, August 1st and 2nd 2019

Article about CA strip-tillage innovations that appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of Strip-till Farmer magazine
Article about CA strip-tillage innovations that appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of Strip-till Farmer magazine

Article about CA strip-tillage innovations that appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of Strip-till Farmer magazine

Posted on Monday, August 5, 2019 at 11:15 AM

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