Producers can view cover-crops conference

Farmers, educators and researchers are invited to attend a free forum featuring a live broadcast of the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health Feb. 18 at an area Natural Resources Conser?vation Service office.

The national conference will address how to build soil health, improve yields, curb erosion, manage pests and build resilience in a farming system.

Area forums will be offered at more than 200 NRCS and extension offices nationwide, and are being organized in conjunction with the live conference in Omaha, Neb.

The national conference is sponsored by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education and NRCS.

In Kansas, six locations will host forums Tuesday, Feb. 18. The three locations closest to Marion County are Emporia, Hutchinson and Manhattan.

Facilitated discussions about issues pertaining to cover crops will follow a live-streamed broadcast of opening sessions from the national conference, including a dialogue with Tom Vilsak, plus a panel discussion with expert farmers.

Because the national conference attendance is limited, local forums represent a way to include farmers, educators and researchers across the country in the emerging conversation about the use and benefits of cover crops.

Attendees of the local forums also will have the opportunity to contribute ideas and comments on cover crops and soil health to the leadership group at the national conference. These comments will be collected by staff at the local sites as part of the local discussion process.

?This will be a great opportunity for producers interested in cover crops and soil health to meet up with like-minded individuals from their local area to discuss both local and national issues related to cover crops,? said Eric B. Banks, a state conservationist with NRCS.

For more information about the Cover Crops and Soil Health forums and a complete list of forum locations, visit

An RSVP is requested. Live streaming from the national conference will begin at forum locations at 8:45 a.m. Central Standard Time.

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