2021 High Plains No-Till Breakout Sessions

> View schedule for Tuesday
> View schedule for Wednesday

Loran Steinlage

“Subject to Change”
In this session Loran will talk about the “why,” focusing on the story of his evolution to where he is at today and the peaks and valleys along the way.

“Adaptation vs. Adoption”
This breakout will focus on the “how,” sharing stories of the evolution of equipment and how the Steinlages compliment the practices currently employed to make their unique style of farming work.

Alejandro Carrillo

“Greening the Desert”
Attendees will learn about using adaptive grazing management to improve soil health, plant diversity, profits and well-being of animals and people on brittle, semi-arid environments. They will learn the importance of prioritizing their investments (time and money) to make better use of their resources and get a faster ROI, see different designs of water distribution and fencing, and learn the relevance of adapting a herd to their environment.

“Under the Hood: Making Adaptive Grazing Work in Brittle Environments”
How can you make sure you get tangible results with the minimum investment in arid environments while managing risk? What role do genetics play to make regenerative ranching doable? How can you get an adaptable herd so cows work for you? How do you determine your rest periods to promote a diverse set of perennial grasses? These and more pressing questions will be discussed during this in-depth breakout session with Alejandro.

James White

“How Plants Farm Soil” Microbes and Extract Nutrients from Them in the Rhizophagy Cycle in Roots”
Plants require a healthy and diverse soil microbial community to acquire nutrients from soils and for proper plant development and health. The rhizophagy cycle (‘rhizo’ = root; ‘phagy’ = eating) illustrates the importance of soil microbes to plants and is a nutritional process whereby plants oxidatively extract nutrients from microbes (primarily bacteria) in roots. This presentation will show an in depth look at this cycle and how plants oxidatively extract nutrients from microbes.

“Endophytic Microbes in Plants”
In this breakout session, Dr. James White will discuss endophytes, their interactions with plants, and their roles promoting plant growth and health.

Jenna Keller 

"Succession & Estate Planning"
Estate and succession planning for a farm and ranch has drastically changed  from generations past. Today’s farm and ranch operations cannot survive with cookie cutter or off the shelf divide the farm or ranch in equal shares. In this seminar, learn about alternate ways to plan for the legal and financial viability  of the farm and ranch operation to the next generation. If you’re the youngest generation operator, learn about ways to approach this sometimes taboo topic to ensure the land or assets you depend on are transitioned in a way to support the viability of your operation.

Brad Justice

“Soil Carbon Markets – A Practical Primer”
There is tremendous interest around soil carbon and the opportunity to earn soil carbon credits. For this talk, Soil Metrics CEO Brad Justice will give an overview of what is real, what is marketing, and what we can expect over the next few years. Specific focus will be given to how soil carbon is accumulated, who is paying for soil carbon and how this market may change over time. The goal is to equip attendees with the language and knowledge needed to evaluate opportunities for their operation.

Don Day Jr.

“Main Climate Drivers for the High Plains and Expected Long Range Trends for 2022”
President and Chief Meteorologist of DayWeather, Inc. in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Don Day Jr. has provided customized broadcast weather services to over 70 radio stations across Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska for over 25 years. He also provides long range and seasonal weather forecasts for agriculture and other private industries with an emphasis on long-term and known historic trends in ocean temperature and ocean circulation changes. In this session, he will discuss the primary climate drivers for the High Plains region and expected long range trends for 2022.

John Niswonger

“Biology, Rotations, and Grazing”
This breakout session will discuss how and why the Niswongers transitioned their farm from fallow to regenerative farming and how they have incorporated information from studying biology, composting, and compost tea extract into their operation. John will also touch on what crop rotations they have used, their soil testing programs, and how they have managed cattle grazing on both their rangeland and cover crops, all while attempting to leave the land better than when they got it.

Jeff Steffen

“Does Soil Health Really Pay?”
In this session, Jeff Steffen of northeast Nebraska will utilize historical data from a 5 year rotation on his primary FARMS field to analyze the economics of a total “systems approach” to farming for soil health. He’ll share descriptions of cropping practices they’ve employed on his operation for each year and the resulting economic data. He will also provide comparisons to more traditional practices based on information from University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Doug Garrison

“Cool Season Annuals into Warm Season Perennial Pasture”
DS Family Farm produces pasture grazed beef and poultry near Lincoln Nebraska. As participants in the CCTA FARMS Project they are investigating adding cool season annual covers into existing warm season pasture. The activity is similar to a concept popularized by Colin Seis of Australia and referred to as Pasture Cropping. In this presentation Doug will share the results from their initial Soil Evaluation Tool (SET), the ecosystem processes they are attempting to influence, and some early results.

Kevin Wiltse

“Advancing Our Regenerative Farming Practices”
Kevin Wiltse and his family farm and ranch southeast of Timken, KS, where they strive to allow the ecosystem to function to its intended capabilities. In this session, Kevin will present their family/business goal and the decisions they are making along the way to fulfill that goal. Soil health is a key component to reaching their desired outcome, and he will share successes and failures in their soil health journey, including no-till, cover crops, grazing and perennial sequences.

Scott Scheimer

"Simple Farms”
Agriculture is an industry of tight margins and high risk that has very little room for mistakes. Scott Scheimer, founder and CEO of Simplefarms. ag, wanted to give producers a tool to make quicker, easier financial decisions so he developed Simple Farms. In this breakout session, he will discuss how producers can track their daily operations and know exact costs of production using a program that helps give good management perspective.

Paul Mussman

"Grain & Livestock Market Update
This discussion will include an upto-date market recap on both grains and livestock, plus the tools that can be applied in today’s market to help you with profitability and reduce price risk. At this point in the crop cycle the cost side of the business is known, it’s the revenue side that now needs your attention. The environment is primed for big up and down price swings potentially —walk through the “What If’s” and look at how to handle the likely possibility of a wide, crazy end to the 2021 and another in 2022.

Mark Lohrding

"Cows Instead of Combines”
Mark and Sindi Lohrding own and operate Three Bar Ranch Inc. in Comanche and Clark County Kansas, where they run registered and commercial Black Angus cattle in a year round grazing system that utilizes over 100 semi-permanent paddocks. At the High Plains No-Till Conference, Mark will share how grazing cropland has allowed their operation to reduce inputs, reduce risk, increase the grazing season, and maintain or increase overall profitability.

Dale Strickler

“Building a Drought Resilient Farm”
Dale Strickler, agronomist for Green Cover Seed, will discuss soil management techniques producers can implement to increase infiltration of rainfall, improve soil water-holding capacity, improve rooting depth of crops, and increase the efficiency of water extraction and use of crops. He will also share thoughts on converting High Plains agriculture to a more moisture efficient and profitable form.

Paul Drache

“The Ins and Outs of Dealing with Bugs in Stored Grain”
Central Life Sciences Regional Manager Paul Drache will use this session to discuss how producers can prepare their bin space for harvest, identify the insects they may be dealing with in corn, wheat, and sunflowers, and how to protect their commodities for both long-term and short-term storage, or rescue grain in the bin that already has an infestation. In addition, Paul will present information on the application of protectants and required licensing.

Kristina Reindl

“Achieving Efficiency and Higher Yields via Relationships”
Next to moisture, nitrogen is the most limiting factor when it comes to plant growth and overall yield. To meet the high demand of nitrogen and other important nutrients needed for a successful crop, farmers may over-apply inorganic synthetic fertilizers and nutrients. Unfortunately, this practice is negatively impacting the soil microbiome, while also draining the farmer’s pockets. This presentation will cover the leading management factor(s) affecting microbial population structure and function to enable growers to utilize their biology to encourage nutrient uptake. It will also cover the data supporting the movement that LESS is MORE when it comes to the health of your soil. By understanding the relationships between microbial population structure/function and nutrition, producers can achieve higher yields, increase revenue, and improve soil health all while decreasing costs and management.

Clint Frese and Luke Holst

“Biologicals: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”
Bio Ag Managements primary focus for the last 5 years has been the use and implementation of biological products, biostimulants and how they affect traditional agronomic practices. Discussion will focus on Clint and Luke’s research and experience at Bio Ag Management that has led to the development of a compost tea and extract process that is focused on producing a consistent and diverse biological product at a large scale. They will also present data and firsthand experience on how to navigate the good the bad and the ugly of the biological marketplace and present data on how to use these products to reduce inputs and build toward a sustainable agriculture system.

Also featuring sessions by:
  • Chad Godsey
  • Andrew Rueschel
  • Roy Pfaltzgraff
  • John Kaltenbach
  • National Sunflower Association
  • Red River Commodities
  • 21st Century Bean Processing
  • TriCal Superior Forage