Building a sustainable strip-till system and strengthening soil structure are cornerstones of Tim Smith’s corn and soybean operation in Eagle Grove, Iowa.

A commitment to the NRCS’s Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI) has helped Smith limit erosion, reduce fertilizer application costs and increase equipment and fuel efficiency.

During a classroom session at the 2016 National Strip-Tillage Conference, Smith will share how the addition of cover crops, refinements to his nutrient management practices and the introduction of a bioreactor have contributed to a comprehensive strip-tilling strategy.

“The biggest return with strip-till is greatly reduced soil loss,” says Smith. “My soil has held up better in adverse conditions. With the excessive rains we’ve had over the last few years, having more residue on top of the soil helps to preserve that soil structure and improve water infiltration.”

The host Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal, Ill., will offer an ideal learning environment for attendees to absorb dozens upon dozens of actionable strip-till practices from fellow farmers, consultants, university specialists and other agricultural experts through general sessions, strip-till classrooms, roundtable discussions, hallway networking and a special members-only workshop.

Preliminary plans for the event include 7 general session speakers, 12 classrooms covering a range of strip-till topics, including cover cropping, precision farming practices and equipment modifications, and 20 roundtable discussions.

Stay tuned for more conference updates by visiting and we’ll see you in central Illinois!