A monthly collection of recent news, upcoming events, and articles of interest
Alliance News
Plans for Summer Field Day Finalized
Join us at the farm of Alliance President Jim Hershey on July 25 th for the always popular Soil Health Summer Field Day. An informative and timely day is planned that will include, in addition to the program below, planting green and inter-seeding demonstrations, multiple multi-species cover crop plots, a farmer-owned planter display and numerous vendor displays. The keynote speaker will be Rick Clark who uses no-till and cover crops on his farm in Williamsport, Indiana.

The field day will be preceded by the informal “Meeting of the Minds” dinner at the farm the evening before.
Both the Meeting of the Minds and the Field Day are free if pre-registered by July 22 nd . Use the form below or email Jay Howes at .
Board Member England Speaks at Legislative Event
On May 16 th Alliance board member Gordon England was invited to participate in a farmer breakfast hosted by State Representative Jim Gregory and featuring Ag Secretary Russell Redding as the lead speaker. 

With about 70 people in attendance, Gordon had the opportunity to talk about Alliance programs and the benefits of no-till and cover crops.

Photo: Representative Gregory and Secretary Redding answered questions from the group.

Board Members Meet with EPA
In May, Alliance President Jim Hershey and board member Jim Harbach had the opportunity to meet personally with EPA Region 3 Administrator Cosmo Servido and Region 3 Agricultural Advisor Kelly Shenk. At that time they had time to personally explain to those key individuals the importance of no-till and use of cover crops in meeting the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Improvement Plan (WIP) currently available for public comment (see below). Also addressed were concerns about elements of the WIP and other EPA initiatives.

In addition to providing education and insight about no-till and cover crop issues, this event assisted in strengthening already positive relationships with policymakers. Members of the Alliance are well respected by representatives of EPA and other governmental agencies which is paramount to having productive conversations about important policy issues.
Upcoming Events
June 5
Watershed Expo, Manheim Farm Show, Manheim, PA

June 6
Waterweek Breakfast and Farm Tour, Stever Groff Farm, Holtwood, PA

June 25
Franklin Conservation District Planting Green Field Day

June 27
Farming for Success, Landisville, PA

July 25
PA No-Till Alliance Summer Field Day, Hershey Farm, Elizabethtown, PA

TBD (Week of July 29th)
NRCS/No-Till Alliance Field Day, Slippery Rock, PA - Watch for Details!

August 13-15
Ag Progress Days, Rock Springs, PA

August 23
Clearfield Conservation District Cover Crop Workshop

December 9
Cocalico/Elanco Agricultural Forum, East Earl, PA
Ag Articles of Interest
Cover Crop Guidelines
The USDA Farm Service Agency recently made several policy updates for acreage reporting for cover crops, revising intended use and late-filed provisions.

Reporting Cover Crops:
FSA made changes to the types of cover crops. Cover crop types can be chosen from the following four categories:

  • Cereals and other grasses – Any cover crop that is classified as a grass plant or cereal grain, and would include, but not be limited to, the following cover crops: cereal rye, wheat, barley, oats, black oats, triticale, annual ryegrass, pearl millet, foxtail millet (also called German, Italian or Hungarian millet), sorghum sudan grass, sorghum and other millets and grasses.
  • Legumes – Any cover crop that is classified as a legume, including, but not limited to, clovers, vetches, peas, sun hemp, cowpeas, lentils and other legumes.
  • Brassicas and other broadleaves – Any cover crop that is classified as a non-legume broadleaf, including, but not limited to, Brassicas such as radishes, turnips, canola, rapeseed, oilseed rape, and mustards, as well as other broadleaf plants such as phacelia, flax, sunflower, buckwheat, and safflower.
  • Mixtures – Mixes of two or more cover crop species planted at the same time, for example, oats and radishes.

If the cover crop is harvested for any use other than forage or grazing and is not terminated according to policy guidelines, then that crop will no longer be considered a cover crop and the acreage report must be revised to reflect the actual crop.

Acreage Reports: In order to maintain program eligibility and benefits, producers must timely file acreage reports. The final acreage reporting date for cover crops is July 15. Failure to file an acreage report by the crop acreage reporting deadline may result in ineligibility for future program benefits. FSA will not accept acreage reports provided more than a year after the acreage reporting deadline. (Source: FSA)
Pennsylvania's Draft Phase 3 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan - Comment Period Open
The Department of Environmental Protection opened for public comment the draft Phase 3 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP). The Phase 3 WIP specifies the steps the commonwealth will take through 2025 to meet local water pollution reduction goals in the Chesapeake Bay watershed as required by the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load.
Supporting documents can be found on the department's website . The final Countywide Action Plans for Lancaster, York, Adams and Franklin Counties can also be found on this website for informational purposes only.
Questions regarding the draft Phase 3 WIP can be e-mailed to . The department reminds interested persons that comments will be accepted through Friday, June 7, 2019. Comments, including comments submitted by e-mail, must include the originator's name and address. Commentators are encouraged to submit comments using the department's eComment tool on the website or by e-mail to . Written comments can be mailed to the Department of Environmental Protection, Policy Office, Rachel Carson State Office Building, PO Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063.
Thank You Alliance Sponsors
In 2019, the Alliance is fortunate to be receiving financial support from a near record number of Annual General Sponsors. These generous contributions are invaluable in assisting the Alliance fulfill its mission to spread the word, farmer to farmer, on the value of no-till, cover crops and how they can improve soil health, water quality and overall farm productivity.

Thank you to our Annual General Sponsors:

Gold Sponsors
Stroud Water Research Center
PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture

Silver Sponsors
Gro-Mor Plant Food Co.
Univest Corp.
DowDupont/Pioneer Seeds
MM Weaver, Inc.
Melvin Weaver & Sons
Lancaster Farming
AgChoice and Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit

Bronze Sponsors
Fulton Bank
American Dairy Association North East
King's AgriSeeds

Bottom Line Ag Supply
Timac Agro

Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance
2215 Forest Hills Drive, Suite 39, Harrisburg, PA 17112