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Conservation Tillage Conference Slated for St. Cloud, Minnesota, December 17-18

Innovative conference features a mix of informal table talks and addresses by farmers and scientists.

Stymied by how to adapt conservation tillage to the heavier and colder soils of the Upper Midwest?

Well, those are some of the challenges that the Conservation Tillage Conference (CTC) in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on December 17-18 will address. The CTC merges proven farmer experiences and applied science.

David Lobb, a University of Manitoba soil scientist, will be the CTC’s keynote speaker, discussing The True Cost of Erosion.  Lobb has researched the phenomena of tillage erosion, which erodes more soil than wind or water erosion combined. 

Closing out the program will be Seth Watkins, a Clarinda, Iowa, farmer who has incorporated conservation measures and soil health measures on his farm.

Informal table talks are included in the conference lineup to allow time to interact with speakers and industry professionals. Two expert panel sessions will feature conservation farmers and skilled crop consultants who will discuss using multiple methods to improve soil health and their bottom lines. Hear from experienced no-till, reduced tillage, and cover crop farmers as they share their hard-learned knowledge, so you can be spared the same difficult lessons.


Some conference speakers will include:

  • Shannon Osborne, a USDA-ARS scientist, who will discuss how farmers can choose a cover crop that best fits their farm.
  • Nick Pieske, a Lake Wilson, Minnesota, Centrol crop consultant and Bryan Biegler, a Lake Wilson, Minnesota, farmer, who will explain why and how weed shifts occur and how to manage them.
  • Stan Boltz, an NRCS soil health specialist, who will discuss soil health indicators that occur in the fields of farmers.
  • Anna Cates, state soil health specialist with the Minnesota Office of Soil Health, who will discuss the relationship between soil microbes and soil health.
  • Brad Carlson, a University of Minnesota Extension educator, who will discuss nitrogen management for today’s environment.
  • Reduced Tillage 101, a session presented by Aaron Daigh, a North Dakota State University soil scientist, and Marla Reikman, a soil management specialist with Manitoba Ag.
  • A panel that includes farmers Bryan Biegler, Nicole Olson, and millennial farmer Zach Johnson. 
  • An advanced no-till and cover crop session by Tom Cotter, an Austin, Minnesota, farmer.
  • Shannon Weyers, a USDA-ARS scientist, who will give the lowdown on soil amendments.
  • Melissa Wilson, a University of Minnesota soil scientist and Minnesota farmers Dan Coffman and AJ Krusemark, who will discuss manure and cover crops.
  • Jennifer Hahn, executive director of the Minnesota Soil Health Coalition, who will discuss conservation tillage and soil health economics.

Learn about new equipment, products, and technology at vendor sessions. More than 20 vendors will be on-site throughout both days.

Registrants can now receive the early-bird price of $140 for the full conference. Prices rise to $180 after December 2. 

You may also call 320/235-0726, ext. 2001. 

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