The second National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health was held December 7-8, 2017, at the Sheraton Indianapolis Hotel at Keystone, Crossing in Indianapolis, Indiana. This meeting served as an opportunity to learn recent developments in how cover crops are being used by innovative farmers across the country and gain important insights on improving soil health from producers, conservation leaders, and scientists.
Attendees included farmers; conservation agents; certified crop advisers (CCAs) and agribusiness staff; university, nongovernmental organization (NGO), and agency representatives; and anyone interested in the practical use of cover crops and soil health improvement.
Headliners for the conference were:
Keith Berns, a nationally known Nebraska farmer on the topic of carbonomics
David Montgomery, a geologist and popular author on soils and erosion, whose latest book is titled Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life
Dan DeSutter, a grain farmer from the central Corn Belt and a long-time no-tiller and cover crop user
Trey Hill, a grain farmer from the eastern Corn Belt and also a long-time no-tiller and cover crop user
Jimmy Emmons, a rancher and grain farmer from the Southern Plains, who grazes cover crops
Over 40 presenters, nearly half of them farmers with years of cover cropping experience, spoke in a variety of informative breakout sessions including: introduction to cover crops; advanced practices such as planting green and interseeding, grazing cover crops, managing herbicide resistant weeds with cover crops, use of cover crops in horticulture and organic operations; and latest approaches on measuring soil health, building soil organic matter, and understanding soil biology.