Farm conferences planned in March

By Deborah Reinhart Brown - Ag update

We’ve got some conferences coming up that could be of interest: The Conservation Tillage Conference will be March 2-3 at Ada; the Small Farm Conference is scheduled for March 11-12 at Wilmington. In addition, locally, the Dairy Booster’s Annual Banquet is Thursday, March 10, at the Palazzo in Botkins; dinner at 7:30 p.m. Any dairy youth who attend will get their registration paid for the Second Annual Dairy Palooza West to be held in May! Contact Greg Borchers by March 1 to get your reservation in for the banquet: 937-596-6772.

The Conservation Tillage Conference, held at the Ohio Northern University in Ada, will follow an overall theme of making smarter, calculated choices to grow profitable crops while ensuring healthy soils, healthy water, and (hopefully) a healthy bank account for the farmer! Yes, we’re looking at a few challenging years, so when better to study-up on your options!?

As usual, the program includes a “Corn University” (March 2) and “Soybean School” (March 3). Some of the topics to be addressed include fertility management, hybrid performance and technology, and insect and weed control. Others include corn yield forecasting, results of the Ohio soybean limitation survey, and the Top 10 Ways to improve yield without breaking the bank!

Of course, there’s more than just those components: There are eight concurrent sessions during the conference, offering the latest research, insight, tips and techniques on precision fertility; cover crops and manure; water management; technology and equipment; nutrient management; and advanced cover crops. Some of the topics to be presented in the cover crop sessions are on-farm experiences with cover crops and manure; enhancing soil mycorrhizal fungi to retain nutrients, and improving soil carbon for healthier soils.

The full schedule for the Conservation Tillage Conference and registration information can be found at You may register online through Feb. 26 for $65 for one day or $85 for both days. Walk-in registration is $80 for one day or $105 for both days. We also have fliers here at the office.

The Small Farm Conference is designed to offer tips, techniques and methods to help make small farm operations more successful, profitable and sustainable. This “Opening Doors to Success” conference offers an evening program on Friday with a full day of sessions on Saturday.

With the demand for goat meat growing across Ohio, one of the Friday evening workshops on March 11th are on “Meat Goat Management;” 1 to 5 p.m., Wilmington College Academic Farm, 1590 Fife Ave., Wilmington. Specialists Richard Browning, a meat goat expert at Tennessee State University, and Maria L. Leite-Browning, a meat goat expert at Alabama A&M University, will focus on meat goat production.

In addition to this meat goat workshop, “Micro-Irrigation Essentials and Management” will be offered during the same time. Taught by Brad Bergefurd, OSU Extension horticulture specialist, this workshop will focus on fertigation basics, ground-based and remote moisture sensing, irrigation scheduling, micro-irrigation, and others.

The March 12 session is from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at Wilmington College’s Boyd Cultural Arts Center, 1870 Quaker Way. This session will allow attendees to attend workshops on such topics as Farmers’ Market Vendor Best Practices, Enhancing and Expanding your Online Marketing, Small Farm Opportunities, Rabbit Production, Hair Sheep Production, Beginning Farm Business Planning, Alpaca Production, Dairy Goats, Cheese Making, and Fertility Management of Fruits and Vegetables and others.

Registration for this “Opening Doors to Success” conference is $70 for both days, $20 for Friday only or $60 for Saturday only. The deadline to register is March 4. For more information or to register: or contact Tony Nye at 937-382-0901 or

By Deborah Reinhart Brown

Ag update

The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at

The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at