Organic Track at IL Specialty Growers, Agritourism, and Organic Conference Jan 12-13, 2012

Come join us at the IL Specialty Growers, Agritourism, and Organic Conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield on January 12-13, 2012. Below are descriptions of the sessions in the two organic tracks. Click here for a full conference program and registration form, including times, non-organic sessions, and January 11 pre-conference workshops.

Thursday, January 12

Organic keynote session: What is Organic and Why Should I Care? Jim Riddle, University of Minnesota and USDA National Organic Standards Board, Winona, MN

Spray Drift Issues for Specialty Crop and Organic Growers. Moderator: Jack Erisman, Pana, IL

  • Introduction. Jane Heim, Willow Creek Organic Farm, Paw Paw, IL
  • Understanding Pesticide Drift. Rick Weinzierl, University of Illinois
  • Drift and the Illinois Pesticide Act. Warren Goetsch, Illinois Department of Agriculture
  • A Spray Drift Case Study. Brian Poeppel, Broad Branch Farm, Wyoming, IL
  • Risk Management. Rich Schell, Wagner & Schell, LLP, Des Plaines, IL
  • Recovering Damages. Clayton Lindsey, WilliamsMcCarthy, LLP, Oregon, IL
  • Panel Discussion with Spray Drift Presenters. Introductory Remarks: How Spray Drift Affects Organic Production. Dave Engel, Oregon Tilth, Viroqua, WI

IOGA business meeting. Please come and help shape our newly forming assocation. Tell us what you want to see IOGA do in 2012 and elect the 2012 Governing Board.

Friday, January 13

Organic Soil and Fertility

  • Building Fertile Soil by Composting: Tips for Using Various Composting Methods. Ellen Phillips, University of Illinois. Includes information on vermicomposting, manure composting, and compost tea. How to avoid compost contaminated with aminopyralid. Review of certified organic regulations on composting manure.
  • Capturing the Full Potential of Cover Crops. Joel Gruver, Western Illinois University
  • Weed Control: Effective Use of a Row Crop Cultivator, Rotation, and Soil Building. Gary McDonald, Springfield, IL

Organic Fruit and Berry Production

  • Understanding Insect Life Cycles to Improve Monitoring and Management in Fruit Crops. Rick Weinzierl, University of Illinois. Learn biological strategies for controlling insects in fruit production. Special attention will be given to scouting methods, such as tracking degree days to predict emergence.
  • Growing Small Fruits Organically. Brad and Linda Hallbrook, Meadowbrook Organic Farm, Shelbyville, IL
  • Conserving Pollinators and their Habitat on Farms. Jennifer Hopwood, Xerces Society, Hickory Corners, MI. Why pollination is important to all plant growers and the current threats to pollinators. Ways you can support threatened honeybees, and strategies for managing alternative pollinators such as bumble bees, mason bees, and leafcutter bees.

General organic

  • Federal and State Programs for Organic Growers (and Grant and Loan Resources Too!). Jamie Jones-Houck, USDA NRCS, and Delayne Reeves, Illinois Department of Agriculture

Organic Vegetable and Grain Production

  • Current Trends, Issues, and Best Practices in Organic Grain Production. Jack Erisman, Goldmine Farm, Pana, IL
  • Essential Equipment for the Small-Scale Diversified Vegetable Farm. Zachary Grant, University of Illinois. The quest for simplification and efficiency in a complex world: An overview of equipment from the perspective of a small farm with many different needs. Including specialized equipment for high tunnel production, soil work, and cultivation.
  • Challenges and Opportunities for Using Cover Crops in Vegetable Systems. Matt DeJong, DeJong Brothers Farm, Lansing, IL. Specific examples of using cover crops in large-scale vegetable production. How to select cover crops to fit into time windows on double-cropped fields. Process and equipment needed for direct seeding spinach into tillage radish for extended season planting.

Organic Livestock Systems

  • Tips and Tricks for Rotational Grazing and Active Pasture Management. Jim Burrus, Indian Creek Farm, Jacksonville, IL, and Jody Osmund, Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm, Ottawa, IL. Moderator: Matt Bunger, USDA NRCS.
  • Managing Livestock Health Organically. Jen Burton, Veterinarian, Urbana, IL
  • Predator Management for Livestock: How to Keep Hawks, Coyotes, Foxes and other Predators from Dining on your Flocks and Herds. Dave Shiley, University of Illinois