Want to get more profit out of your fields? Dr. Jerry Hatfield, Director of the USDA ARS Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment in Ames, IA, and lead author of "The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity" which received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, will present on achieving climate resiliency in Midwest cropping systems and how it can impact your bottom line at the Midwest Farm Energy Conference, scheduled for July 10-11, 2019, at the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris, MN.
The soil has four basic needs: food, shelter, air, and water. Sound familiar? It's the same for us. As stewards of the land, we provide the soil with food (nutrients), shelter (cover crops or crop residue), and air (open channels that bring in oxygen), but the availability of water is the biggest factor that influences yield from year-to-year. "I tell producers that it's not how much rain you get in the rain gauge, but how much rain you get in the soil. That gets producers thinking about how the soil is managed," says Jerry.
Understanding the individual parts of our cropping systems, such as tillage, water, and nutrient management and yet being able to think about them in an ecological context paints a bigger picture, one that ultimately can improve yield stability and give producers the potential to increase profits.
Jerry is also scheduled to speak at the conference Keynote Dinner, which is scheduled for July 10 beginning at 6 pm. His talk, "Perspectives on the Future of Agriculture" will shed light on the biggest challenges facing producers in the next 20-30 years, and how we need to revolutionize our thinking in agriculture to become much more of an ecological context. This includes on and off the field water practices, buffer strips, and pollinator habitats.
"We have an opportunity in agriculture to do things even better, to have an impact on our production systems and to have an even bigger impact on environmental quality, but we need realize what's holding us back," reports Jerry.
More information about the Midwest Farm Energy Conference can be found at z.umn.edu/mfec2019. Tickets for the Keynote Dinner may be purchased through the conference registration site.