2002 NW Direct Seed Conference Proceedings and Highlights
Roger Veseth, Conference Coordinator and WSU / UI Extension Conservation Tillage Specialist
If you missed the 2002 Northwest Direct Seed Cropping Systems Conference in Spokane, WA on January 16-18, you missed a great program attended by 900 growers and Ag support personnel. But, you can have the next best thing to being there --- the detailed 177-page Conference Proceedings. The Conference Proceedings provides a detailed summary of the speaker presentations and is an excellent reference on new technologies for direct seed cropping systems. The Proceedings are being added to the Conference Web site (http://pnwsteep.wsu.edu/conference). A limited number of Proceedings are available. See the ordering form below for details on ordering a copy!
ORGANIZATION AND SUPPORT -- Two groups organized the Conference as a service to Northwest growers: 1) the Pacific Northwest STEEP program and 2) the PNW Direct Seed Association. STEEP (Solutions To Environmental and Economic Problems) is a cooperative research and educational program on conservation tillage systems through the University of Idaho, Oregon State University, Washington State University, and USDA-Agricultural Research Service. The grower-driven PNW Direct Seed Association (PNDSA) began in 2000 and already has a membership of over 350. PNDSA is working to facilitate the development and adoption of direct seed cropping systems through research coordination, funding and information exchange. The Conference was co-sponsored by 12 Ag support companies, and developed / promoted in cooperation with 12 PNW grower organizations, conservation district associations and other Ag support groups and agencies.
For the second year, the Conference was held in conjunction with the Spokane Ag Expo -- the largest Inland Northwest Ag Show with over 300 exhibits - and the PNW Farm Forum and seminar series. Conference registration provided entry into both these events. Conference participants were encouraged to arrive on Tuesday, January 15 or the morning of Wednesday, January 16 before the Conference began at 1:00 p.m., to provide ample time for viewing of exhibits on direct seed systems and other agricultural topics at the Spokane Ag Expo. The Conference program also provided special "Ag Expo Breaks" to allow participants more time to view the exhibits. Another early attraction on January 15 and 16 was the Pacific Northwest Farm Forum and seminar series at the Doubletree Hotel and Spokane Convention Center.
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS -- The Conference program featured 24 speakers, including 10 growers, from Idaho, Oregon and Washington and the Canadian Prairie Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Major Conference program areas included: Changes in nutrient cycling and fertility management over time; Managing for improved soil biology and direct seed benefits to soil health; Redesigning crop rotations; Brassica crop selection and management; Impacts and management of soil acidity; Make-up and management of key soilborne crop pathogens; Integrating financial and production information to identify costs of production; and Grower experiences across the low, intermediate and high precipitation zones. A NW Direct Seed Poster Exhibition featuring 33 research and educational projects was available for viewing throughout the Conference and a special program section was provided for talking with poster authors.
The Bear Pit sessions on Thursday evening, January 17, were popular discussion opportunities. Topics focused on a series of cropping systems technology topics for direct seeding, including: 1) Intensifying rotations in the low and intermediate precipitation zones; 2) Understanding changes in soil fertility, biology and quality over time; and 3) Strategies for managing heavy wheat residue in higher rainfall zones.
Conference speakers did a tremendous job and they were well received by an enthusiastic audience of growers and Ag support personnel -- who came to learn about the latest research results and experiences with direct seed systems.
2003 CONFERENCE SUGGESTIONS -- Plans are beginning on the 2003 Conference. If you weren't able to attend the Conference or if you attended but haven't yet sent in your suggestions for the 2003 Conference design and program / speaker topics --- there is still time. Your ideas are needed to design a Conference that best addresses your interests and information needs. Please send them to: Roger Veseth, Conference Coordinator, P.S.E.S. Dept., University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-2339, phone 208-885-6386, fax 995-7760, e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Send the following 2002 Conference Proceedings Order Form with your check (payable to NW Direct Seed Conference) to:
The Proceedings are
available for $8.00 (including mailing).
us: Hans Kok, (208)885-5971
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