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Ag Consulting Trainings

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?   “Professional ag consultants will learn what they need to provide one more service to the farmers they advise. Recognizing where a conservation practice would be a good fit, and charting a course for putting it into use, is a real value to their clients. Not every CCA or retail agronomist is interested in writing elaborate conservation plans, but these are the people farmers turn to first for advice. They’re the right group to show farmers how they can benefit from conservation,” Mike Smith, CTIC project director.       Practical Conservation Planning ...

Ag Consulting Trainings

About the Project Through a collaborative agreement with the US EPA, CTIC will provide leadership and technical support to successfully plan, organize, coordinate, evaluate and share information from five workshops held between 2015 and 2020. These workshops will provide attendees the foundation to target, design, and implement conservation practices for their clients. Practices covered will include in-field nutrient management, drainage water management systems, bioreactors, saturated buffers and more. CTIC will host specific practice summaries and other materials that will help this project’s target audience. In addition to the US EPA’s assistance, the following partners ensure that these workshops ...

Bee Integrated Demonstration Project: Pragmatic Beekeeping, Forage, & Farming Practices - BEE Integrated

CTIC has partnered with the Honey Bee Health Coalition on its Bee Integrated Demonstration Project.  This project brings together beekeepers and producers to show how a suite of best practices can be implemented together in agricultural landscapes to support honey bee health. This innovative strategy provides a blueprint for supporting pollinator health across North America.

National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS)

The History of NARS The National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) program is an EPA and State/Tribal effort to survey the condition of the nation’s waters. Initiated in 2005, these statistically-based surveys have begun to provide EPA, States, Tribes and others partners with information to provide nationally consistent reports on the condition of the nation’s waters, to identify national and regional water quality priorities and to evaluate the effectiveness of the nation’s investment in water quality protection and restoration. These assessments report on core indicators of aquatic life and public health using standardized field and ...

National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI)

CTIC is working with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to improve the effective engagement by NRCS in delivering watershed projects and to enhance the agency's ability to communicate the issues and success of watershed projects. This project is identifying successful watershed management activities that engage landowners, farmers, and the broader public to protect water quality. Insights developed through this project will inform future NRCS efforts to support local watershed initiatives with technical and financial resources.

National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI)

CTIC is currently working with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on a project in support of NWQI. This project is identifying successful watershed management activities that engage landowners, farmers, and the broader public to protect water quality. Insights developed through this project will inform future NRCS efforts to support local watershed initiatives with technical and financial resources. As a first step, CTIC is convening watershed leaders from across the country at five forums to learn from their experience—successful or otherwise—with diverse watershed management and communication strategies. Our first forum will take place in ...

Operational Tillage Information System (OpTIS)

  Automated Use of Remote Sensing Data to Monitor Conservation Practices The Operational Tillage Information System (OpTIS) has been developed by Applied GeoSolutions (AGS) and the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) as a method for the automated use of remote sensing (satellite-based) data to monitor conservation practices in agricultural systems, including various forms of reduced tillage and the planting of winter cover crops. While the OpTIS calculations are performed and validated at the farm-field scale, the privacy of individual producers is fully protected by distributing only spatially-aggregated results – at the county and watershed (8-digit HUC) scale. CTIC has been ...

OpTIS: Plot Study and Next Step

Indiana Pilot Study Ten years of tillage-transect data collected by the State of Indiana were used to verify the ability of OpTIS algorithms to automatically process publicly-available remote sensing data, in order to accurately characterize tillage practices and the presence of winter cover crops.   View Resource Next Step Building on the success of the Indiana Pilot, CTIC is now again partnering with AGS to apply OpTIS across the entire US Corn Belt (Phase 1). Phase 2 will involve application of OpTIS to all US agricultural regions. View Resource

SARE/CTIC Cover Crop Surveys

Cover crops offer a wide range of benefits to farmers, from erosion control to soil building to capturing nutrients and holding them in the root zone over the winter. As interest in cover crops continues to grow, it’s important to understand the trends, opportunities and challenges surrounding these important tools. Insight from farmers who use cover crops—or from those who haven’t yet made the move—is vital for fellow farmers, as well as for crop advisors, conservation specialists and policymakers.

Supporting Supply Chain Sustainability in Iowa - IDALS

CTIC recently began a new phase of a project funded by Iowa’s Department of Ag and Land Stewardship.  In collaboration with Practical Farmers of Iowa and The Nature Conservancy, CTIC is leading development of a program that will train and incentivize retail agronomists to become advocates for conservation systems build around cover cropping.  Rollout of the program is anticipated in the winter of 2019 and the project’s target area has been selected to leverage ongoing privately-funded supply chain sustainability initiatives.