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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2007

Regional Tillage Seminars Scheduled
Topics to include carbon trading for Illinois farmers

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Agriculture is co-sponsoring a series of five regional tillage seminars to provide farmers the latest research on soil conservation practices that not only protect the environment, but also could earn them extra money.

The series begins Feb. 5 at Kishwaukee College in Malta.  Other seminars are scheduled Feb. 6 at the Homestead Restaurant in Woodhull, Feb. 7 at the Interstate Center in Bloomington, Feb. 8 at Lincoln Land Community College in Litchfield and Feb. 9 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Teutopolis.

“Remarkable progress has been made the past decade to protect our valuable cropland,” Agriculture Director Chuck Hartke said.  “In fact, the most recent field survey found no-till soil conservation practices had surpassed conventional tillage as the production method of choice among Illinois farmers.  With the advent of carbon trading, which rewards good environmental stewardship, the amount of no-till acreage is only likely to increase.”

Carbon trading is a system in which farmers are paid by industries to adopt conservation tillage practices in their fields.  Conservation tillage has been shown to help protect the earth’s atmosphere from a build-up of carbon dioxide, a gas that scientists believe contributes to global warming, and industries have been willing to pay for implementation of the practices in order to compensate for their carbon dioxide emissions and meet clean air standards.

The system is just one of the topics to be discussed during the seminars.  Other topics include: 
• Tillage Trends
• Impact of Climate on Crops
• Global Warming and Carbon Sequestration
• Reducing Tillage, Energy and Costs
• No-till and Strip-till:  Equipment and Management Recommendations
 
Each seminar will last from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and conclude with a panel discussion featuring farmers and agribusinessmen.  Registration costs $13 per person and is due one week before the date of the seminar.  To make reservations, contact the agency that is hosting the seminar in your area.  A complete list is provided below.

The seminars qualify for 4 ½ continuing education credits in soil and water conservation for certified crop advisors.  In addition to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, sponsors include the University of Illinois Extension, Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts and U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Illinois Tillage Seminars
Date Location  Contact

Feb. 5 Kishwaukee College
Malta, Ill.
 DeKalb County Extension
1350 West Prairie Dr.
Sycamore, Ill., 60178-3166
(815) 758-8194

Feb. 6 Homestead Restaurant
Woodhull, Ill. Henry-Stark County Extension
P.O. Box 74
Galva, Ill., 61434
(309) 853-1533

Feb. 7 Interstate Center
Bloomington, Ill. McLean County Extension
402 N. Hershey Rd.
Bloomington, Ill., 61704
(309) 663-8306

Feb. 8 Lincoln Land Community College
Litchfield, Ill. Montgomery County Extension
#1 Industrial Park Dr.
Hillsboro, Ill., 62049
(217) 532-3941

Feb. 9 Knights of Columbus Hall
Teutopolis, Ill. Effingham County Extension
1209 Wenthe Dr.
Effingham, Ill., 62401
(217) 347-7773



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