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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 holistic method of growing agricultural crops that uses a variety of factors to create a healthy and sustainable method of producing agricultural commodities.  A true system involves a variety of conservation practices that are tailored directly to each individual’s farm. Multiple resources, such as soil, air, water, plants and animals are taken into consideration when planning a conservation cropping system. Above all else, conservation cropping systems must be sustainable, productive and profitable.
Key management components of a successful agricultural conservation system include:
  • Paying attention to the overall health of the soil
  • Maintaining healthy populations of soil organisms
  • Effectively and sustainably managing pests and plant nutrition to produce high yielding crops
  • Managing crop rotations
  • Incorporating cover crops
  • Feeding and enhancing the soils by reducing disturbance and increasing organic matter
  • Reducing off-farm impacts