The Allison Farm, the 30-acre organic demonstration farm maintained by the University of Western Illinois, will be holding their annual field day on August 3rd in Roseville, IL. This is one field day not to be missed if you are interested in learning more about cover crops! Keynote lunchtime speaker will be Steve Groff, who has pioneered the “Permanent Cover Cropping System”, which includes no-tillage, cover crops, and effective crop rotations as a way to increase profits, enhance soil and water quality, and reduce pesticides.
The cornerstone of this system is a unique emphasis on maintaining a permanent cover of crop residues and cover crops on the soil surface and having something living in the soil at all times. All vegetables and crops are then seeded or transplanted into the organic mulch. This permanent cover aids in weed control, has virtually eliminated soil erosion on the farms 3-17% slopes, and has increased soil and water quality.
A passionate advocate for sustainable agriculture soil conservation, soil health, and food quality, Steve started no-tilling in the early ’80s. He later began using cover crops as another soil conservation measure and now plants cover crops based on the succeeding crop that will planted the next year. Some fields have not been touched by any tillage equipment for over 30 years!
The schedule of the field day is as follows:
9:30 to 11:30 – Interactive presentation on soil conservation and stewardship, with government, university, and private partners
11:30 to 1:30 – Lunch featuring local foods, annual report on Allison Farm, and keynote speaker Steve Groff of Cover Crop Solutions
1:30 to 2:30 – Networking among field day participants
1:30 and 2:30 – Starting times for tours of the Allison Farm
Participants may attend some or all activities during the day. All activities are free and open to the public, but advance registration is required for the morning session and free lunch. Please register by Monday, August 1. You can register online here
For more information, contact Andy Clayton at Western Illinois University, (309) 298-1172 or (217) 322-2639. Download the flier and directions to the site here.