CTICDialogues » Topic

2014 Panel

Economic and Ecological Benefits of Agricultural Conservation Systems

A farmer with years of experience using conservation on his farm.
A nongovernmental organization representative who has led projects that get conservation on the ground.
A leader in a Midwestern ag retailer organization that helps customers achieve great results with conservation systems.
A land-grant university researcher who examines the economics of conservation agriculture.
A legislative staffer who worked on the Agriculture Act of 2014 (Farm Bill).
These five panelists will combine to provide a dynamic discussion on the benefits of agricultural conservation systems, which are practices used on the farm to improve the soil, reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, keep nutrients on the farm and more (see below for a more comprehensive definition). Their extensive experience will provide an excellent overall look at the current state of conservation used in agriculture.
The discussion will include the following topics:
  • conservation in the Farm Bill;
  • the decision-making process when considering how long-term conservation practices, such as no-till, will affect the farm;
  • how conservation-minded organizations like CTIC help producers, government officials and others make decisions to work toward the best solution for their farms or their organizations;
  • conservation trends affecting agriculture in the next five years;
  • and more!
Join us on April 2 for CTIC Dialogues.

Agricultural Conservation Systems

An agricultural conservation system (also known as a conservation cropping system) is a comprehensive method of growing crops that uses a variety of  components to create a healthy and sustainable method of producing agricultural commodities. The system involves a variety of conservation practices that work together and are tailored to each individual’s farm. Management needs to be flexible and adjust to changing conditions.  It is focused on long-term results instead of solely on returns for this cropping season.   Numerous resources, such as soil, air, water, plants and animals, are taken into consideration when planning a conservation cropping system as their management may affect the quality of life for both present and future generations.
Key management components of a successful agricultural conservation system include:
  • Maintaining healthy populations of soil organisms
  • Improving soil quality by reducing disturbance and increasing organic matter
  • Effectively and sustainably managing pests and plant nutrition to produce high-yielding crops
  • Reducing off-farm impacts
Above all else, these systems must be profitable, productive, and sustainable.