Marion County included in no-till expo audience

Marion County producers are included in the target audience for the Whirlwind on the Plains Expo that will be hosted by No-till on the Plains Inc. Friday, Sept. 10 in Emporia.

The event will provide producers with ways to increase profitability and gain a better understanding of the importance of soil health, according to organizers.

According to No-till on the Plains, continuous no-till practices can:

? save more than 5 inches of water per acre, reducing irrigation needs and greatly improving dryland yields.

? cut fuel and labor requirements by 50 percent or more.

? reduce soil erosion by wind and water by an average of four to 14 tons per acre, greatly reducing blowing dirt and surface water pollution.

The Whirlwind No-till Expo will begin at 8 a.m. at the Flint Hills Christian Church Harvest House at 1836 East U.S. Highway 50. The Expo includes a catered lunch. A $20 registration fee is required by Sept. 3 for attendance.

Funded through a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, this educational event is sponsored by Flint Hills Resource Conser?vation and Development and includes the Marion Reservoir, Melvern, Twin Lakes, Neosho Headwaters, Clarks Creek, Fall River and Upper Walnut/El Dorado Lake WRAPS with assistance from Lyon County Exten?sion.

Incorporating a hands-on approach, the program features expert speakers as well as an experienced local no-tiller from the area, Gail Fuller.

Fuller has been experimenting with no-till since the mid-1980s and has been 100 percent no-till since 1995. He dryland farms on loams and silty loams with about 32 inches of annual rainfall.

Fuller owns a small feedlot and is incorporating livestock, intensive grazing and cover crop cocktails into his no-till system.

The featured speakers include:

? Jill Clapperton, a soil health consultant and one of the world?s authorities on the microbial interaction taking place in the soil;

? Francis Yeatman, Clapper?ton?s associate from South Africa who has significant experience with intensive farming systems;

? Kristine Nichols, soil microbiologist for USDA Agri?cultural Research Service in Mandan, N.D.;

? Kenneth Miller, grazing specialist for the Burleigh County Soil Conserva?tion District in Bismarck, N.D.;

? Paul Jasa, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension engineer and a respected source of information in the Midwest on no-till planting equipment and system management.

After a morning of demonstrations and speaker presentations, producers will have the opportunity to travel to the Fuller farm located northeast of Emporia on Burlingame Road to observe a soil pit, with demonstrations and discussion.

Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for this afternoon portion in the field.

No-till on the Plains has hosted well over one dozen Whirlwind Expos since 2001 across Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.

?Regardless of your experience level with continuous no-till, this event will meet?and hopefully exceed?your needs through the motivation, vision and experience of our excellent speakers,? said Brian Lindley, executive director.

No-till on the Plains is a regional organization and is a farmer-run group that promotes practical and scientific application of continuous no-till farming.

For more information on the Whirlwind No-till Expo, or to pre-register by Sept. 3, call 888-330-5142 or register online at notill.org.

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