A monthly collection of recent news, upcoming events, and articles of interest
Alliance News
“Field” Day A Success in Spite of Record Rainfall
With the field and surrounding area where the annual summer soil health field day drenched with nearly 12 inches of rain in the days leading up to it, a change of venue was necessary for the scheduled program to take place. Fortunately, through the efforts of hosts Cotner Farms and their general manager and board member, Dean James, an excellent indoor alternative was arranged on short notice and most of the planned program took place. While the outside exhibits and demonstrations were not available, the other aspects of the program continued as planned.

The Wednesday evening "Meeting of the Minds" was attended by the largest group ever with 55 in attendance. Following the meal, a lively discussion of “Current No Till and Cover Crop Challenges” took place with an excellent exchange of ideas among attendees, including a group of 10 farmers from Franklin Co., Virginia.

On Thursday the full program was presented to a group of more than 125 attendees and early feedback was very positive. Watch for a full report in a future newsletter. A big thank you to all for your cooperation under difficult circumstances and the Alliance apologizes for any inconvenience that may have occurred.
Ag Secretary Russell Redding Commends the No-Till Alliance Efforts
The Alliance was privileged to have Secretary Redding offer remarks over lunch during the field day and sincerely appreciates his support. Later that day, the post below appeared on his social media page:

"I can't stress enough how important the work being done by the PA No-Till Alliance is. Today, I was able to attend their Summer Soil Health Field Day in Danville, Northumberland County. Agriculture provides a $135.7 billion impact on the Pennsylvania economy. Just as tremendous is the impact Pennsylvania agriculture has on the health of watersheds and soil that nourish and sustain millions of people. Farmer-to-farmer, peer-to-peer conversations about what works and what doesn't are vital. Congratulations are in order as well, as the group received the Conservation Leadership award last week during the PACD/SCC joint conference. Thank you to everyone associated with this alliance. You make this industry what it is."

[Pictured above (L-R) is Karl Brown, Dean James, Jim Hershey, Secretary Russell Redding, Russ Cotner.]
Come Watch the No-Till Alliance Demonstration at Ag Progress Days
As part of its ongoing effort to share the benefits of no-till and cover crop practices, the No-Till Alliance will have an even larger presence at the 2018 Ag Progress Days event, including “LIVE” no-till planting green demonstrations each day.

On each of the three days, immediately following the corn chopping demonstration, several types of no-till drills will demonstrate planting cover crop into the stubble. This will take place at approximately 12:30 p.m. Then, at 1 p.m., there will be a demonstration of planting into a rolled standing sorghum/sudan mix. Also, plots will show both newly emerged and growing corn previously planted into the same cover crop mix.

In each case, members of the Alliance will be available to discuss their experience with this emerging practice and answer questions from farmers and others in attendance. If you plan to attend Ag Progress Days, don’t miss this opportunity!
No-Till Alliance Annual Meeting
Following the field day, the PA No-Till Alliance annual meeting was held and those present voted to change the by-laws to provide for election of officers each year at the annual meeting. The by-laws already provided for election of directors at this time.

During the Board election Jim Hershey, Jeff Frey, Jim Harbach and Steve Groff were all elected to three year terms. Subsequently, in accordance with the by-law change, Jim Hershey was re-elected president and Dean James and Jeff Frey as vice-president and secretary-treasurer, respectively. Congratulations to the new directors and leadership team!
Ag Articles of Interest
2018-19 Round of REAP to Open Soon
The State Conservation Commission will begin accepting 2018 REAP applications on Monday, August 6, on a first-come, first-served basis. What’s new for 2018:
  • Cover Crops – Farmers can now apply for up to 3 years of proposed cover crop plantings. In addition, applicants are eligible to receive credits on the same acreage more than once. Applicants are no longer required to provide detailed field-level maps of where the crops are planted.

  • Riparian Forested Buffer Maintenance – Maintenance activities such as replanting, mowing, and herbicide treatments are now eligible for REAP credits. Applicants must fill out the REAP Riparian Buffer Maintenance Worksheet (p15 of the REAP application) and provide details regarding other public funding (if applicable).

  • Legacy Sediment – The Commission is interested in getting involved in a legacy sediment project in 2018-19. We are looking for an opportunity to test how REAP could potentially help install water quality BMPs involved in a remediation project.

  • Low-Disturbance Residue Management Equipment (Vertical Tillage) – Modified vertical tillage equipment is not eligible for REAP tax credits. The REAP guidelines pertaining to this equipment remain the same. However, equipment that has modified to meet the guidelines will not be accepted.
The 2018 REAP application packet can be found on the REAP webpage .
“Lay of the Land – Healthy Soils, Healthy Waters” Premiered at The Field Day
The full 26 minutes of this documentary video, sponsored by the Alliance, Stroud Water Research Center and the Lancaster Conservancy, was premiered to rave reviews. 

 Click here to watch!
Thank You Alliance Sponsors
Each year, a number of sponsors step-up to partner with the Alliance in fulfilling our mission to promote the successful application of no-till through shared ideas, experiences, education, and new technology. Without their invaluable support, the Alliance would not be able to have the success it enjoys. Thank you to those who have renewed or initiated new sponsorships for 2018:

Gold Sponsors
Stroud Water Research Center
Univest Bank and Trust

Silver Sponsors
AgChoice Farm Credit
DuPont Pioneer
Gro-Mor Plant Food Co.
Lancaster Farming
MM Weaver and Sons
Melvin R. Weaver Crop Protection

Bronze Sponsors
American Dairy Association North East
Binkley & Hurst, LP
King's AgriSeeds
Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance
2215 Forest Hills Drive, Suite 39, Harrisburg, PA 17112