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Reduced Tillage Field Day July 31 in Willsboro
New York Ag Connection - 07/06/2018

In-field demonstrations with agricultural specialists and growers from New York and Vermont and six learning stations are all part of the Reduced Tillage in Organic Systems Field Day to be held July 31 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cornell Willsboro Research Farm, 48 Sayward Lane, Willsboro. The event is free to attend.

The overall focus of the day on improving soil health was developed to meet grower requests. While the event is geared toward organic vegetable, row crop, and small grain growers, the practices discussed will also benefit conventional growers.

"Decreasing soil disturbance maintains diverse and active biological activity that is critical for well-functioning, healthy soil. Reducing tillage intensity and mechanical soil disturbance can improve soil health. Over time, this helps maintain or increase crop yields, while reducing production costs due to saved labor, equipment wear, and fuel," notes organizer Amy Ivy, a vegetable specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension, Clinton County.

The field day topics include roller-crimping, zone tillage in high residue, in-row cultivation tools, stale seedbed and weed seed bank management strategies and grower experiences with reduced tillage on their farms.

The field day speakers are Jean-Paul Courtens of Roxbury Farm, Kinderhook, NY; University of Vermont Agronomist Heather Darby; Cornell Willsboro Research Farm Manager Mike Davis; Jack Lazor of Butterwork Farm, Westfield, VT; Chuck Bornt, Cornell Cooperative Extension Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program; Bryan Brown and Ryan Maher, Cornell Small Farms Program; Kitty O'Neil, Cornell Cooperative Extension North Country Regional Ag Team; and Cornell University Weed Ecology and Management Professor John Wallace.

Participants at the day-long event will rotate between three demonstration and discussion stations in the morning and three in the afternoon. Lunch is included. The first 50 attendees will receive a program resource booklet.

The Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County and the Cornell Willsboro Research Farm coordinated this field day with funding support from the New York State Soil Health Initiative, Lake Champlain Basin Program, and the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. For more information, contact Amy Ivy, Cornell Cooperative Extension Clinton County, 518-561-7450, adi2@cornell.edu.

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