Farming Evolution event Feb. 20-21

The 2019 Farming Evolution event will be held Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 20-21 at the Phillips County Event Center on the fairgrounds just north of Holyoke, Colorado.

Christine Jones, soil ecologist from Australia, will be the headline speaker. Over several decades, Jones has worked with farmers and ranchers using renewing practices. After a highly respected career in the public sector, she began to promote the benefits of soil carbon throughout the world. 

Jones will spend a good deal of time explaining how to build new top soil and transition to the power of diversity. She’ll also talk about how pasture cropping can benefit the soil and producer. Pasture cropping is seeding annual crops into former cropland seeded to grasses. This includes CRP, soil bank, or go back lands. Learn more about Jones at

Raj Khosla will speak about precision nutrient cycling and the precision climate-smart agriculture. Khosla was named 2015 Precision Ag Educator of the Year by the Precision Ag Institute. He will explore the connection between soil variability and precise crop inputs. He will also discuss using remote sensing techniques to identify crop nitrogen stress in irrigated corn and to detect weeds. 

Seeing is believing, and nothing makes an impression like a rainfall simulator. See how water behaves on soils with different tillage and cropping histories.

Candy Thomas will share how nitrogen, carbon and phosphorous cycle in the soil and why it matters. Thomas is the soil health specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for Kansas and Nebraska. 

Managing herbicide-resistant weeds is the topic for Eric Westra. Westra is a research associate with Todd Gaines at Colorado State University. He will discuss identifying and managing problem weeds.

Scott Speck will share the decision-making opportunities satellite imagery provides. Speck is the digital ag lead for Western Plains in Gothenburg. Information on emergence, irrigation, soil variance, pests and diseases are all available from satellites! 

A panel of ‘pilots’ will discuss the topic of Drones: Toy or Tool? There will also be a producer panel on hand to share their no-till/soil health journey.

There will be a mixer after the program on Wednesday to visit with speakers and exhibitors. 

Agenda, lodging and eatery information is available online at 

Registration by Friday, Feb. 8 is $30 for one day and $40 for both days. Late registration and at the door is $40 for one day and $50 for both days. Breaks, lunches and all handout materials are included.

Registrations are accepted online or in person/by phone at the NRCS Office in Holyoke. To register online, go to Use the ‘payment method’ drop down to pay by credit card online or to select ‘pay by check’. At-the-door payment option will be available for late registrations.

The Farming Evolution event is hosted by the Haxtun, Morgan, Sedgwick and Yuma County Conservation Districts and the Upper Republican Natural Resource District. The Colorado State Conservation Board, NRCS, and Pheasants Forever provide financial support. 

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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