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Sustainable Production & Systems

Tilth Conference 2019

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More sessions coming soon!

Sustainable Production & Systems

On-Farm Aerated Static Pile (ASP) Composting — You Can Do It!

  • Chris Henderson, Small Acres; David Bill, Midnight's Farm
  • Learn about on-farm composting systems using active aeration, the benefits of Aerated Static Pile (ASP) composting, ASP best practices and specific equipment that can be used to build a cost-effective aerated compost system for your farm. Chris Henderson will describe two aerated compost systems that have been in use at his farm, Small Acres, for the past several years. One system is used for large batch composting of local dairy solids to produce high-quality compost for mixed vegetable production, while a second multi-bin system is used to manage on-farm generated organic material. Both systems minimize labor by eliminating the need to turn compost and automating the blower timing and temperature measurements. David Bill will present Midnight’s Farm’s ASP compost operation, generating over 800 yards of finished compost per year from yard debris, animal bedding, offal, biochar and other feed stocks. His Department of Ecology “farm-exempt agricultural compost facility” status allows the farm to legally receive community drop-off of yard debris and sell finished compost.  Composting best practices, lessons learned, and sources for additional resources will be discussed. A list of materials needed to build your own compost system and record pile temperatures will be provided as part of the presentation.

New Advances in Farm Management for Pollinators, Beneficial Insects and Biodiversity

  • Eric Lee-Mäder, Northwest Meadowscapes / The Xerces Society
  • Beneficial insects — such as pollinators and insects that prey upon crop pests — are the unsung champions of the agricultural world. In this session, the Xerces Society’s Eric Lee-Mäder will provide an overview of new advances in the theory and practice of supporting these animals on working farms. Specific topics include the latest science, public policy, and business trends that are driving more pollinator conservation on farms, as well as natural pest suppression by beneficial insects, songbirds, and other functional biodiversity. Specific challenges that arise when working in intensively managed farm systems will be discussed. Case studies featuring large-scale habitat projects such as hedgerows, beetle banks, flowering field borders, and cover crops will be highlighted, along with farm and food industry efforts to incorporate pollinator conservation into their business practices.
Organic Tree Fruit Management in the Pacific Northwest
  • Griffin Berger, Sauk Farm
  • "Organic" farming is often sold as being much more difficult, less effective and more expensive than conventional farming. Griffin Berger, Operations Manager at Sauk Farm LLC, will explore tactics that reduce inputs while improving tree health, fruit quality and yields. Join Griffin as he shares lessons learned from the successes and failures of running his family farm.
What's New at the State Veterinarian's Office?
  • Susan Kerr, Washington State Dept. of Agriculture
  • This workshop will give updates from the WA State veterinarian's office, including new outreach materials, animal disease status in the state, personnel changes, new programming, foreign animal diseases of concern, regulation changes and the new WSDA web site. There will be time for questions/answers and feedback to the agency.
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