Tillage and Technology Field Day

Doug Holen, Crops Extension Educator - Morris

Tillage and Technology Field Day 2015A tillage, residue, and soil health field day was held at the WCROC on September 10th.  The event hosted 165 statewide producers, ag professionals, and industry representatives with instruction, equipment demonstrations, and open soil pits for observation.  The purpose of the event was focused on new equipment technologies in tillage and planting, residue management, building soil structure, cover crops and managing soil properties.

Building off of previous successful events at other locations in the state focusing on soil properties, this field day was designed by a steering committee of university educators, WCROC faculty and staff, consultants, and private industry.  The targeted goal was to put forth an event that offered hands-on learning opportunities through demonstration stations.  Five stations were set up and attendees divided into equal groups upon arrival.  Groups rotated around the harvested soybean field stopping to interact with presenters from Wisconsin, North Dakota, Manitoba, Nebraska and Minnesota.  

Those in attendance were pleased with the depth and spectrum of information coupled with the ability to see what was being discussed in a real field scenario.  Open Soil pits contributed to the message by connecting surface interactions with below ground responses to soil disturbing practices.  

Adam Bjerketvedt and Joel EkbergThe highlight of the day was at the end of the program when 11 pieces of tillage equipment were lined up side by side for demonstration.  Equipment representatives discussed their product quickly and then operated it through wheat stubble.  Producers were able to learn about the tillage piece, see it operate, and then walk behind its efforts to judge performance.  Included in the lineup for evaluation were pieces representing vertical till, strip till, and traditional chisel plow.  Video was taken during each of the demonstrations, and may be viewed by accessing the links below.  

Chisel Plow

Strip Till

Vertical Till

Tillage and Technology Field Day 2015The event’s success was based on the partnerships established to carry out the intended purpose.  We were fortunate to work closely with the WCROC as a host, get significant sponsorship from the MN Soybean Growers and MN Corn Growers Associations, and participation from many equipment dealers.  The U of MN Extension appreciates all those who sponsor, participate, and provide publicity assistance with events like this.  Our day was well attended by statewide media outlets which typically leads to additional coverage and exposure. 

Photos and videos courtesy of WCROC Communications Specialist Esther Jordan.  Additional instructional materials using event footage are being developed and will be posted in the future.

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