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Farmer weeding
NEARLY WEED-FREE BEDS? While some say it’s impossible, learn how others accomplish it.

Learn how organic veggie production can be done with reduced tillage

Cornell, Michigan State and University of Maine team up for three free webinars on organic vegetable production with reduced tillage.

Cornell University’s Small Farms Program has teamed up with counterparts at Michigan State University and University of Maine to offer three free webinars on reduced tillage for organic vegetable production. Learn about practices that might fit your operation, from permanent beds, tarps and mulches to cover cropping, strip tillage and cultivation tools.

The first one on how permanent bed systems can help improve soils was held March 9. For a link on catching that recorded session on YouTube, email Vicki Morrone, Michigan State University organic farming specialist, at Or find the recorded session here.

That session, titled “Reduce tillage on permanent beds,” addressed how farmers are adopting these systems and included research results on how tillage, mulching and tarping practices can impact weed control, labor use and crop productivity. Session leaders were Ryan Maher and Brian Caldwell for Cornell University and Mark Hutton of University of Maine.

Coming up next
• Thursday, March 16: “Strip-tillage tools and practices” is the topic. Webinar time is 3 to 5 p.m. Eastern. It’ll cover how adapting strip tillage for organic production requires careful crop planning. Learn the tools and equipment and what research is showing about integrating cover crops, managing residue, attracting beneficial insects, and controlling diseases and weeds. Session leaders are Anu Rangarajan and Meg McGrath of Cornell, plus Dan Brainard and Zsofia Szendrei from Michigan State.

• Thursday, March 23: “Cultivation for reduced-tillage systems” is the topic. This webinar time is also 3 to 5 p.m. Eastern. Cultivation of the in-row zone is challenging, especially in reduced-tillage systems. Learn about innovative in-row cultivation techniques for managing weeds in reduced-tillage crops. Session leaders are Dan Brainard and Sam Hitchcock of Michigan State and Eric Gallandt and Bryan Brown for University of Maine.

Register here for any of the webinars. Got reservation questions? Contact Morrone at These webinars and materials are based on work supported by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Have questions about the Cornell Reduced Tillage Project? Click on small farms projects. Or contact Ryan Maher at

Source: Cornell Small Farms Program

TAGS: Conservation
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