July 29, 2010

Environmental issues are at the forefront of many people's minds, including agriculture producers. University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension specialists will host two field days to teach tobacco producers how conservation tillage can help them run operations that are more environmentally friendly.

The first field day will be Aug. 5 in Christian County and will focus on dark tobacco. The second field day will take place Aug. 9 in Marion County and is geared toward burley production. Both begin at 4 p.m. local time. Altria is sponsoring both events.

Topics include the basics of conservation tillage including strip-till and no-till, the potential for reduced inputs with a banded fertilizer application in strip-tillage production, soil and water conservation, wildlife conservation and weed control in pastures. Presenters include UK tobacco extension specialists and representatives from the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

"These field days are aimed at making not only tobacco growers but all growers and the general public aware of the benefits of conservation tillage practices, as well as other conservation practices," said Andy Bailey, UK dark tobacco extension specialist.

Benefits of conservation tillage include topsoil conservation, reduced soil erosion, reduced labor, less wear and tear on equipment and fuel savings.

The Christian County field day is located at the Dale Seay Farm, 629 Pleasant Grove Rd. in Crofton. The Marion County field day is at the Greg Young Farm, 1600 Cowherd Rd. in Lebanon.

Both field days conclude with a free dinner for all participants.

To reserve a spot or for more information, contact Jay Stone, Christian County agriculture and natural resources extension agent, at 270-886-6328 or George McCain, Marion County agriculture and natural resources extension agent, at 270-692-2421.