Having 200 farmers, agronomists and other agri-business people at a recent summer field day represents a great turnout in any year, but it may be even more noteworthy this summer.

To me, it was heartening to hear that last week’s residue management field day sponsored by the Hancock Soil & Water Conservation District in western Illinois drew that many people. It means that despite the drought, people are looking ahead. That’s important for two reasons.

First, people strip-tilling this fall are making next spring’s seedbed and helping determine next fall’s yield, says Andy Thompson, regional sales manager for Yetter Mfg., who serves on the field day planning committee.

This week’s lead story in Strip-Till Strategies provides details from this field day about strip-tilling into tall wheat stubble, and offers tips for fall strip-till.

Second, beyond the practical matters or managing residue, it also means that people attending the field day remain hopeful. And combining practical knowledge with hope are some of the essential elements of agriculture.