Indianapolis -- Fertilizer is costly. Farmers want to make sure nutrients are in the soil profile when and where their crops can reach them, not flushed downstream.
Werling uses a three-year rotation of corn, soybeans, wheat or oats. He is one of CCSI's 12 farmers in the Initiative's latest project to promote conservation cropping systems.
Werling says the biggest benefit from his no-till/cover crop mix has been an increase in organic matter in the soil and improvement in soil life and health. He noted that healthy soil has better water infiltration and less run-off, and he uses less fertilizer, and sees better yields.
"Whether a farmer is conventional till, part-time no-till, never-till, or new to cover crops, we can all do better for our soil and the food we produce," said Werling. "That is why I hope to see good attendance at this field day."
Ryan Noblitt, county conservationist, for the Adams County Soil and Water Conservation District, said "I'm so excited to see people adopt new ideas and implement new practices in order to improve our natural resources. This field day will help broaden farmers eyes even more."
The day kicks off with Brother Nick Renner, Missionaries of the Precious Blood, who will discuss "The Realities of Regulation for Landowners and Farmers." For many years, Renner has been at the forefront of agricultural conservation efforts starting when he managed farmland at St. Charles Center in Carthagena, Ohio. He is now a consultant on agricultural conservation methods to the Ohio State University educating farmers on the importance of such conservation efforts as winter cover crops and no-till farming.
Next, Michigan State University professors Dale Mutch and Tim Harrigan will bring the cover crop/nutrient management story together for farmers with their talk titled, "Win-Win: Cover Crops to Manage Manure and Other Fertilizer Sources Cost Effectively and to Avoid Regulation."
Other topics for the field day include a market outlook report from Jon Cavanaugh and David Kohli; equipment demonstrations, and cover crops plots. Brad Kohlhagen will discuss Category 14/Indiana fertilizer regulations.
"Fertilizer is costly, and quite frankly, farmers want to make sure their nutrient inputs are in the soil profile when and where their crops can reach them, not in the water supply," said Lisa Holscher, Soil Health Program Manager for CCSI. "This field day offers an excellent opportunity to learn about management strategies to make the most of those nutrient inputs. I hope to see many farmers join us."
The field day starts at 8 a.m. (EDT) at the Werling Farm located at 10641 NW Winchester Road, Decatur, Ind. Registration includes lunch. Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) and Private Applicator Recertification Program (PARP) credits may be available. Register online or call 260.484.5848, ext. 3.