NEWS YOU CAN USE  ~  MAY 13, 2019
A monthly collection of recent news, upcoming events, and articles of interest
Alliance News
We Want to Hear from You!
The No-Till Board of Directors would like to know what challenges you're facing this spring, after what was - for most - a very difficult growing and harvest season in 2018. How has it impacted your decision-making for this year? What are you seeing in your fields? Have you adjusted your practices? Do you see a long-term impact? Are you facing problems you're finding difficult to resolve?

Please send any thoughts you may have to Jay Howes, Alliance Administrative Coordinator, at jhowes@pennag.com .

Maybe we can help!
Most Alliance board members have faced, and are again facing the same situations many of you are facing now. Board members are available for individual consultation by phone or at your farm. Contact Jay Howes ( jhowes@pennag.com ) or a board member listed below for personal advice and consultation.

In addition, this information will help us tailor program topics for the upcoming summer field day to the most critical and timely issues.
Report of State Rankings for Cover Crop Acreage
Click here to view an initial “hot off the press” look at data on cover crop acres from the Census of Agriculture. From looking at both the new Census of Agriculture data and study the earlier 2012 Census of
Agriculture data, in combination with national SARE/CTIC data, there are a few preliminary conclusions that can be made:

  • The overall increase of cover crop acreage from 2012 to 2017 is 49.7%. That works out to an annual growth rate of about 8.4% compounded annually. If we kept on that exact growth rate we’d get to 19.6 million acres in 2020, hit 25 million acres in 2023, and 40 million acres in 2029.

  • More analysis is needed to determine how accurate the Census reporting of cover crop acres is.

  • People often comment that “I don’t see many cover crops in my area.” Reviewing this data, we can really see just how widespread cover crop use is across the country, even in many of the drier western states. However, it’s true that national cover crop acreage is still well below where most of us would like it to be.

  • Texas was tops in cover crop acreage in both 2012 and 2017. From talking to a few people who know the state well, it sounds like a significant portion of that cover crop acreage has been winter wheat that is planted with the thought that it will be harvested if it gets adequate moisture, and will be a cover crop otherwise.

  • It’s notable that some states more than doubled their cover crop acreage and others had only minor changes in cover crop use in five years.

(Report prepared by Rob Myers, Ph.D., University of Missouri and NCR-SARE Program)
Mark Your Calendars for the 2019 Summer Field Day
The 2019 Summer Field Day will be held at the Jim Hershey Farm in Elizabethtown on Thursday, July 25 . A full day of exciting presentations, displays and field demonstrations is planned - you won't want to miss it! Watch for complete details very soon.
Alliance to be Actively Involved at Ag Progress Days
In August, the Alliance will be active at Ag Progress Days with live planting green and no-till cover crop planting demonstrations each day. Also, new this year will be educational presentations and demonstrations at the Alliance tent twice each day.
Upcoming Events
June 5
Watershed Expo, Manheim Farm Show, Manheim, PA

June 27
Farming for Success, Landisville, PA

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

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

December 9
Cocalico/Elanco Agricultural Forum, East Earl, PA
Ag Articles of Interest
Trucks Need Spotted Lanternfly Permits
If you are a commercial motor vehicle doing business in, out of or through the affected counties (Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Schuylkill) you need to obtain a Spotted Lanternfly Permit. 
 
Penn State does offer an online training course you can complete. If you are interested in learning more about the training, a link to the training course is on the Penn State University Extension website and is available  here
 
As of May 1, PA State Police have the authority to stop trucks and issue fines for lack of Spotted Lanternfly Permits.
Will the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) Impact You and Your Business?
In order to adhere to legal requirements stipulated by a federal court order, states in the Chesapeake Bay drainage area must enact practices and measures to restore the Chesapeake Bay by 2025. 
 
This is to be accomplished by following a Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) which focuses on local water quality. The concern is the “ what if.”  What if Pennsylvania does not meet its obligations in the WIP?
 
Potential actions EPA could levy in the Commonwealth include:
 
  • subject more livestock operations to federal regulations
  • require additional reductions from municipalities and point sources such as wastewater and industrial facilities
  • impose new water quality standards on a stream by stream basis and/or
  • redirect and/or withhold EPA funding
 
DEP is accepting public comments on the draft WIP until June 7, 2019. All comments must be submitted through the electronic portal at https://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment/ .
 
View the Executive Summary and the overview of the WIP. 
 
For the entire docket and detailed information, visit www.dep.pa.gov/ChesapeakeBay/phase3 .
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

Sponsor
Bottom Line Ag Supply
Timac Agro

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