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Registration Deadline for Direct Seed Conference Nears

PULLMAN, Wash. — The cost of registering for the 2nd Annual Northwest Direct Seed Cropping Systems Conference and Trade Show will increase from $75 to $90 after Dec. 18.

The conference will be held Jan. 5-7 at the Spokane Agricultural Trade Center.

Conference coordinator Roger Veseth, Washington State University/University of Idaho conservation tillage specialist, expects 1,200 to 1,500 farmers and agricultural support people from throughout the Northwest and contiguous states to hear how direct seeding can give them a competitive edge in global markets.

The conference will feature 37 speakers, including 14 researchers, seven industry representatives and 16 growers from the Pacific Northwest, Northern Great Plains, Canada, Argentina and Brazil.

A major component of the conference will be an examination of the competitive advantages that direct seeding is giving farmers in other regions of the world over U.S. farmers.

“Some of our global competitors in the grain market are quickly making the transition to direct seed systems,” Veseth said.

“Some international examples include Argentina, 35 percent; Brazil, 25 percent; and the Canadian Prairie Provinces, 35-55 percent — representing over 60 million acres of crop land.

“Although only about 5 percent, or a little less than 500,000 acres, of PNW crop land is under direct seed systems, that is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years in the face of this international competition in production efficiency.”

Speakers from Argentina, Brazil and Canada will explain what’s behind the rapid growth in direct seeding in their countries.

Veseth said direct seeding can reduce costs, increase yield potential from improved water conservation and soil productivity, and eliminate soil erosion by wind and water.

The conference is sponsored as a service to growers by the PNW STEEP III program and over 10 agricultural support companies in cooperation with Pacific Northwest grower organizations, conservation district associations and other groups and agencies.

The STEEP III program is a cooperative research and educational effort on conservation tillage systems through the University of Idaho, Oregon State University, Washington State University, and USDA-Agricultural Research Service. The acronym, STEEP, stands for Solutions to Environmental and Economic Problems.

Pre-registration is $75 through Dec. 18 and goes up to $90 after Dec. 18.

For a pre-registration brochure, call the NW Direct Seed Conference office at 509-547-5538.

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