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Speakers Will Address Direct Seeding Strategies

PULLMAN, Wash. — Growers developing direct seed cropping systems must choose seed and fertilizer openers from a range of high to low soil disturbance levels — each with respective benefits and challenges.

Roger Veseth, extension conservation tillage specialist for Washington State University and the University of Idaho, said the 2003 Northwest Direct Seed Cropping Systems Conference will provide an opportunity to gain a more in-depth understanding of the effects of higher versus lower disturbance direct seed systems.

More than 800 growers and farm advisers are expected to attend the 6th annual conference and trade show, Jan. 8-10 at the WestCoast Hotel in Pasco, Wash.

Principles and management strategies for higher disturbance direct seed systems will be presented by Kevin Anderson, who uses direct seeding on more than 5,000 acres at his South Dakota farm.

Anderson has been building and marketing Anderson Openers since 1986. This high-disturbance seed and fertilizer opener is used on numerous commercial brands of shank-type direct seed drills and air seeders around the world.

The topic of principles and management strategies for lower disturbance direct seed systems will be addressed by John Baker, an agricultural engineer and CEO of Baker No-Tillage Ltd. in New Zealand.

Baker developed the cross slot opener, an ultra low disturbance seed and fertilizer opener. He spent 30 years researching no-till systems at New Zealand’s Massey University, including 10 years as director of the university’s Agricultural Machinery Research Centre. He has also operated his own farm that has been in direct seeding for the last 20 years.

Four NW growers will join Anderson and Baker for discussion. They farm across the low-to high precipitations zones, and under irrigation. These growers have extensive experience with direct seed openers with a wide range of soil disturbance levels.

The program will feature over 28 speakers from Idaho, Oregon, Washington, South Dakota and New Zealand. In addition to high versus low disturbance in direct seeding, program highlights include:

  • Stacked rotation and other pest management strategies;
  • Transition economics;
  • Crop marketing strategies for direct seeders;
  • Building direct seed partnerships with landlords;
  • Residue management strategies;
  • New weed control options;
  • Managing for increased soil carbon and productivity;
  • Grower experiences with the transition to direct seed systems.

At least 10 drill company representatives will present new innovations in direct seed drills and openers for seed and fertilizer placement, residue management and hillside stability.

The commercial Trade Show will feature the latest equipment, products and services for direct seed cropping systems.

The Conference program will provide 26 credits for Certified Crop Advisers and state pesticide applicator recertification. “The low $50 pre-registration fee and $48 hotel registration make this exciting educational event particularly attractive in these tight economic times,” Veseth said.

The Conference is organized by the STEEP program and the grower-driven PNW Direct Seed Association. STEEP is a cooperative research and educational program on conservation tillage systems through the UI, Oregon State University, WSU, and USDA-Agricultural Research Service. The Conference is co-sponsored by a number of agricultural support companies, and developed in cooperation with over 12 grower organizations and agricultural support groups and agencies.

For more information on the program and registration, visit the conference web site at http://pnwsteep.wsu.edu/directseed, or contact the conference office, phone (509) 547-5538, fax (509) 547-5563, or e-mail Wendy Peay at wpeay@mcmgt.com.

A sponsorship and trade show prospectus is also available on the Web site or from the conference office.

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