The program for the Southern Conservation Tillage Conference for Sustainable Agriculture in Raleigh, N.C., will be full of cutting-edge research and practical, on-farm application in the field of conservation-tillage.

Scientists from several Southeastern states, as well as farmers, will be on tap to share experiences about conservation-tillage at the conference June 8-9 at the Jane S. McKimmon Center on the North Carolina State University campus in Raleigh, N.C.

Southeast Farm Press is the technical sponsor of the conference and will provide extensive coverage of the proceedings. Sponsors include Monsanto Company, the North Carolina Soybean Producers Association, Pioneer (A DuPont Company), and Syngenta Crop Protection.

Registration by May 1 is $85; after May 1, or on site, the registration is $100. Registration fee for students is $40. The registration fee includes a paper copy of the abstracts, lunch and a cookout on June 8. Full Proceedings of papers presented at the meeting will be provided in cd format or will be posted on the Southern Conservation-Tillage Conference for Sustainable Agriculture Website. Continuing Education Credits will be available and will include anticipated Certified Crop Advisor categories of Soil and Water Management (2.5 hours), crop management (2.5 hours), and pest management (1 hour).

For more information, contact David Jordan, North Carolina State University Extension peanut specialist, at 919-515-4068 or e-mail at david_jordan@ncsu.edu.

The morning session on June 8 will feature conservation-tillage production in North Carolina. The keynote speaker will be Lane Price with the NRCS discussing conservation incentives and success stories in North Carolina.

Additional topics and presenters discussed will include:

  • Reduced-tillage in the Blackland region of North Carolina — Gaylon Ambrose, Beaufort County Extension agent; and Charles Allen, farmer.

  • No-till and reduced-tillage in the Southwestern Piedmont of North Carolina — Tom Pegram, Union County Extension agent, and Everette Medlin, farmer.

  • No-till and reduced-tillage production in the Northern Piedmont of North Carolina — Mark Tucker, Forsyth County Extension agent, and Kevin Matthews, farmer.

  • Reduced-tillage in the Northeastern Coastal Plain of North Carolina — Arthur Whitehead, Jr., Halifax County Extension agent, and Grant Staton, farmer and consultant.

  • Farmer-inspired demonstration work in continuous no-till in the North Carolina Western Piedmont — Steve Gibson, Cleveland County Extension agent, Ronnie King, Clarence Cogdell, Sammy Thompson and Max Hambrick, farmers.

An afternoon session will feature nutrient management considerations in conservation tillage, the topics will include…

The role of adopting reduced-tillage practices to satisfy government mandates in the Neuse River Basin and other sensitive watersheds in North Carolina; the benefits of reduced-tillage crop production — a long-term perspective; the effect of rotation, tillage and fertility on rice grain yields and nutrient flows.

A session on soil properties and conservation-tillage includes the long-term effects of conservation-tillage systems in soil organic matter quality and quantity; soil respiration rates after 25 years of no-tillage; surface soil properties in response to silage cropping intensity under no-tillage; site-specific tillage benefits on Coastal Plain soils, and crop and animal production in yearly rotations under inversion and no-tillage.

On June 9, conservation-tillage systems and pest management will be covered.

Topics regarding conservation-tillage systems include the potential for reduced-tillage tobacco production in North Carolina; whole farm profitability as impacted by tillage, corn-cotton rotation and acreage mix; potential for using no-till to increase forage and grain yields of winter wheat; producing vegetables in conservation-tillage systems in North Carolina; the value of perennial grasses in conservation cropping systems; winter annual grazing and tillage system effects on sweet corn production; and peanut response to tillage and rotation in North Carolina.

A session on pest management in conservation-tillage will include the influence of cover crops on insect pests and predators in conservation-tillage cotton; investigations of weeds as reservoirs of plant-parasitic nematodes in agricultural systems in Northern Florida; evaluation of weed control programs and salt formulations in Roundup Ready cotton; and Advisory Index for transitioning to reduced-tillage peanuts.

Posters will include comparing biological and structural features of soils under conventional and conservation-tillage; no-till system for organic cabbage production using summer grasses as both cover crop and marketable hay crop; switchgrass biomass evaluation; tillage and N-fertilizer source effects on cotton fiber quality; tillage and N-fertilizer source effects on yield and water quality in a corn-rye cropping system.

Impact of soybean conservation-tillage systems on bobwhite quail habitat and mortality; producing winter wheat with conservation-tillage on Southeast Coastal Plain; effectiveness in terminating cover crops using different roller implements.

Also to be discussed is the economic assessment of weed management in strip- and conservation-tillage non-transgenic and transgenic cotton; economic assessment of diclosulam and flumioxazin in strip- and conventional-tillage peanut; biology of cutleaf evening primrose; economic assessment of weed management for transgenic and non-transgenic cotton in tilled and non-tilled systems; weed management in corn using conventional and no-tillage systems.

Establishment of non-toxic novel endophyte tall fescue, corn-oat for forage rotation with conservation-tillage in north-central region of Mexico; alleviation of compaction in a micro-irrigated coastal soil; microbial and biochemical changes induced by rotation and tillage in a calcareous soil under melon, tomato, wheat and cotton production.

Another topic will be improvement of wheat and cotton growth and nutrient uptake by phosphate solubilizing bacteria; and no-till pumpkin production.

e-mail: cyancy@primediabusiness.com