Conservation Tillage Conference Dec. 17-18

CTC merges proven farmer experiences and applied science

Mark Your Calendars for the Conservation Tillage Conference (CTC) December 17-18, Holiday Inn, St. Cloud, Minnesota.

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

Stymied how to adapt conservation tillage and cover crops to those heavier and colder soils of the Upper Midwest? Well, those are some of the things that the CTC 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 line-up 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 cover 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, will explain why and how weed shifts occur and how to manage them.
  • Stan Boltz, an NRCS soil health specialist, 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, will discuss the relationship between soil microbes and soil health.
  • Brad Carlson, a University of Minnesota Extension educator, will discuss nitrogen management for today’s environment.
  • Tillage research and choices will be covered by Aaron Daigh, a North Dakota State University soil scientist, Jodi DeJong-Hughes, UMN Extension soil scientist, and Dick Wolkowski, UW soil professor emeritus.
  • A panel that includes farmers Bryan Biegler, Kari Olson, Rob Olson, Dustin Frieler, and moderated by the “millennial farmer” Zach Johnson.
  • An advanced no-till and cover crop session by Austin, Minnesota farmer Tom Cotter.
  • Shannon Weyers, a USDA-ARS scientist who will give the low-down 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.
  • Vendor sessions: Learn about new equipment, products and technology. More than 20 vendors will be on-site throughout both days.
  • Many more speakers and topics too!



The 2-day conference price is $180. There are a few scholarship discounts remaining. For registration and hotel accommodations visit For more information, contact Jodi DeJong-Hughes at

— Written by Gil Gullikson, Executive Editor, Crops Technology for Successful Farmer