A monthly collection of recent news, upcoming events, and articles of interest
Alliance News
Sharing the Benefits of No-Till
Through our relationship with Stroud Water Research Center, the Alliance has the ability to provide expert speakers on no-till, cover crop and soil health topics to other groups at no charge to the sponsoring organization. Alliance members are recognized as qualified to speak on these topics as nearly forty presentations have been made in the past year, including presentations in various neighboring states.

Speakers are available to provide presentations in all counties of the Commonwealth. The focus of any presentation is flexible, depending on the interests of the sponsoring organization. Anyone interested in scheduling a speaker may contact a Board Member directly or email Jay Howes, administrative coordinator of the Alliance, at .

Stewardship Practices Video to be Released
Beginning in fall 2017, the Alliance began cooperating with the sponsors of Lancaster Water Week and other partners in the production of a video tracking soil health management practices on the same field through an entire year. Being filmed at the farms of Alliance members Jeff Frey and Steve Groff, it will showcase different equipment, practices and crops through the season. Also included will be member Leroy Bupp’s popular "Soil Water Retention Qualities" demonstration.

The overall message for both farm and non-farm audiences is that no-till and cover cropping practices result in improved health, benefiting everyone in numerous ways. The official release will take place at a public event during Lancaster Water Week in June.
A Trifecta of Summer Soil Health Opportunities
June 21 - Farming For Success
The Alliance will be participating in a planting green demonstration and discussion at the popular Farming for Success summer field day, sponsored by the Penn State College of Agriculture Southeast Agricultural Research and Extension Center. The event will be held in Landisville, Lancaster County. Additional details will be available in the near future.

July 26 - PA No-Till Alliance Summer Soil Health Field Day
This year the Alliance summer field day moves to Don Cotner Farms (Danville, Montour County), which is managed by Alliance board member Dean James. A full day of informative panels and demonstrations is planned, including a farmer panel on “What We’re Doing That’s New,” a presentation on “Interpreting the New Soil Health Tests,” demonstrations with the rainfall simulator and differences in soil water retention with various tillage practices. 

There will also be cover crop test plots, infiltration rings, farmer owned planters on display and updates on no-till drill set up and maintenance. Truly an exciting day - mark your calendars now!

August 14-16 - Ag Progress Days
The 2018 Ag Progress Days event will be held August 14, 15, 16. The Alliance is working with officials from Ag Progress Days to have a larger presence at the 2018 show, including “LIVE” no-till planting green demonstrations each day. Details are still being developed, but we anticipate that this will be an important addition to Alliance outreach efforts. Watch the Ag Progress Days promotion materials for time and location.

Ag Progress Days features the latest technology and research exhibits, educational programs, and guided tours. Sponsored by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, the 2018 event celebrates the forty-third year to be held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, nine miles southwest of State College, PA. It is one of only three agricultural exhibitions in the country sponsored by a major University. Exhibits showcase the latest in Penn State research, as well as information on best management practices and changing regulations in the agricultural industry.
Ag Articles of Interest
Time is Running Out! Complete the 2017 Census: NASS Conducting Phone and In-Person Follow-Up
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is reminding farmers and ranchers that the window is closing on the opportunity to participate in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. To date, NASS has received more than 1.5 million completed questionnaires. But the national return rate is currently lower than at this point in the 2012 Census. NASS is encouraging U.S. producers who have not returned their completed Census questionnaires to do so as soon as possible to avoid phone and in-person follow-up.
Producers can respond to the 2017 Census of Agriculture online at  or by mail. The same law, Title 7 USC 2204(g) Public Law 105-113, that requires response also requires NASS to keep all information confidential, to use the data only for statistical purposes, and to only publish in aggregate form to prevent disclosing the identity of any individual producer or farm operation. NASS will release Census results in February 2019.
House Agriculture Committee Passes 2018 Farm Bill
On a party-line vote, the House Agriculture Committee approved a five-year farm bill in mid-April, that tweaks the supports now in place – a promise of certainty, leaders said, during a period of low commodity prices and threats of a trade war with agriculture on the front line.
There was no new funding for the 2018 farm bill, so farm supports would be little changed from levels set in the 2014 farm law. The bill would expand the Conservation Reserve to 29 million acres from the current 24 million acres, eliminate the Conservation Stewardship Program for working lands, and extend the list of people eligible for crop and conservation payments.
Among the provisions included in the legislation is language establishing and funding a vaccine bank to deal with an outbreak in the United States of Foot-and-Mouth Disease in livestock.
The agriculture panel's Farm Bill calls for first-year mandatory funding of $150 million for the FMD vaccine bank, $70 million in block grants to the states for disease prevention and $30 million for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN), which provides disease diagnostic support. For the other years of the 5-year Farm Bill, there’s $30 million in mandatory funding for state block grants and $20 million to be used at the Agriculture secretary’s discretion for the vaccine bank, the NAHLN and the states. (Source: Successful Farming and NPPC News)
AgExplorer - Finding a Future in Agriculture
The National FFA Organization, Discovery Education and have joined forces to create , a robust, comprehensive, online career resource exploring the broad range of careers within the industry of agriculture. This site is a great resource for folks in the industry, as a way to get get the word out about the diversity and wealth of opportunities available in agriculture.
Agriculture has a variety and abundance of careers that fit within nine exciting career focus areas. Careers may have you using advanced equipment, creating new hybrid seeds, raising animals, managing people or designing new products and packaging. Visit the Virtual Field Trip page to gain a firsthand account of the diverse opportunities within agriculture.
The industry of agriculture can open up a world of possibilities, and the demand for professionals in every agricultural area is high. Learn more about which career may be right for you by watching the videos, exploring the career pages and completing the Career Finder interactive.
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
Gro-Mor Plant Food Co.

Silver Sponsors
Lancaster Farming
MM Weaver and Sons

Bronze Sponsors
American Dairy Association North East
Binkley & Hurst, LP
King's AgriSeeds
Melvin R. Weaver Crop Protection
Univest Bank and Trust

If your business or organization is not listed, there’s still time to offer your valuable support for 2018! Contact any board member or Jay Howes at for additional information.
Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance
2215 Forest Hills Drive, Suite 39, Harrisburg, PA 17112