Farmers and ag professionals from around the state are coming together again to share and learn about all things cover crops.

Whether you’re a seasoned cover crop expert or an absolute beginner,

there will be something for everyone!


Topics will include managing manure with covers,  termination of covers, and machinery modifications for cover crops and no till. 

Many of the presenters will be Wisconsin grain and livestock farmers speaking from experience about what has worked and hasn’t worked in their Wisconsin conservation cropping systems. 

Last year’s conference was a huge success with 400 attendees!

****New this year****

Advanced Soil Health Sessions:

  • The night before the conference @ 5pm –  dinner with a presentation from UW-Madison Microbiologist, Thea Whitman on ‘Bugging out on Soil Health – the Diversity and Function of Soil Microbes’ and a discussion with farmers about how they are measuring soil health on their own farms.
  • Early riser session (morning of the conference)-  ‘Farmers figuring it out’ discussion tables with experienced farmers sharing advanced techniques they are using to improve their soil’s health.

Producer-led Watershed Protection Grants Workshop: 

For the convenience of farmers in Producer-led Watershed groups, the annual DATCP Producer-led Workshop will take place on Feb.19th, the day before the conference at the same hotel in Stevens Point.  For more information and to register please visit the DATCP Producer-led Watershed Protection Granting Program website   (This workshop will be followed by the optional social hour and the Soil Health Dinner – registration required for dinner)

Keynote Speaker

Blake is a fifth generation farmer and Canadian Nuffield Scholar from Merlin, Ontario, Canada.  Working with his father, Elwin Vince they produce commercial corn, soybeans and winter wheat on 1200 acres. Their farm management practices are centered on soil health and they are considered to be no-till pioneers in their corner of Canada where they adapted to no-till farming techniques in the early 1980’s. Blake considers himself very fortunate to have been taught, from a young age, the merits of no-till farming.  His claim to fame, as a 46 year old farmer, is that he has never used a moldboard plough.


Knowing that soil is not an infinite resource and working with the objective to leave his farms in better condition for future generations, Blake has been using a multi-species cover crop blend to protect and enrich them.  His practices are in stark contrast with others in his area of Southwestern Ontario where more and more farmers are reverting back to conventional tillage.


Tuesday, February 19 – Pre-conference events

10-4 pm: Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Producer-led Watershed Protection Grant Workshop –  this event is for for people participating in Producer-led Watershed groups.  For more information and to register please visit the DATCP Producer-led Watershed Protection Granting Program website.


5-8 pm:  Bugging out on Soil Health – the Diversity and Function of Soil Microbes (requires registration, please see registration information below)

  • Keynote – Thea Whitman
  • Michelle Scarpace (UW) – measuring soil health
  • Farmer panel
    • Tony Pierick
    • Derek VanDeHey
    • Jeff Lake


Wednesday, February 20 – The Wisconsin Cover Crop Conference

7:30-9:30 am  – Registration check in

8-9 am –  Early Riser Session –  Farmers Figuring it Out Discussion Tables (optional session for conference attendees who’d like to come early or those that stay overnight after soil health dinner, no registration required)

  • Relay cropping – John Kutz (farmer)
  • Planting green – Dan Punke (farmer), Mike Nelson (farmer)
  • Spring seeding – Damon Reabe (aerial applicator) and Brian Briski (NRCS)
  • Interseeding – Marty Weiss (farmer) and Dan Smith (UW)

9:30-10:30 am Keynote address – Blake Vince

10:45-12 Concurrent sessions:

  • Breaking the tillage cycle
    • Derrick VanDeHey (farmer)
    • Matt Hintz (farmer)
    • Jason Cavidini (research farm)
    • Francisco Arriaga (UW)
  • Managing manure with cover crops
    • Dan Brick (farmer)
    • Jeff Endres (farmer)
    • Kevin Erb (UW)
    • Eric Young (USDA researcher)
  • Cover crop species selection and planting in Wisconsin
    • Steve Hoffman (crop consultant)
    • John Sippl  (NRCS)
    • Kevin Shelley (UW)

12-1 Lunch

1-2:15 pm Concurrent sessions:

  • Pest consideration with cover crops
    • Dan Smith (UW)
    • Bryan Jensen (UW)
    • Nathan Nysse (crop consultant)
  • Using a roller crimper with cover crops
    • Erin Silva (UW)
    • Ben Wojahn (Land Conservation)
    • Megan Wallendal (farmer)
  • Using cover crops as a forage
    • Justin Seeger (farmer)
    • Darren Yanke (farmer)
    • Josh Heimsta (farmer)
    • Matt Akins (UW)

2:15-2:45- break and networking

2:45-4 Concurrent sessions:

  • Doing it on the cheap – machinery modifications for no-till and cover crops
    • David Roche (farmer)
      Joe Smith (farmer)
      Jeff Lake (farmer)
      Nick Peltier (Land Conservation)
  • Nitrogen management with cover crops
    • Matt Ruark (UW)
    • Abby Augarten (UW)
    • Nick Miller (farmer)

Event Registration

The registration price for just the Wisconsin Cover Crop Conference (Feb 20) will be $50 before Feb 6 and $60 after.

The registration price for conference AND the ‘Bugging out on Soil Health’ Dinner will be $70 before Feb 6 and $85 after.

Eventbrite - 2019 Wisconsin Cover Crop Conference

More information and registration for the DATCP Producer-led Workshop can be found at:


Hotel and Venue information

The DATCP Producer-led Grant Program Workshop, the Soil Health Dinner and the Wisconsin Cover Crop Conference will all be held at the Holiday Inn in Stevens Point, 1001 Amber Ave, Stevens Point, WI

There is a room block available but please book early as it is a small number of rooms that are reserved!

Holiday Inn Hotel Room Reservations:  Call (715) 344-0200 and press #3.  Please reference the Group Block Code: WLW (Wisconsin Land and Water) or Cover Crop.   Group rate will be available until February 1, 2019 (or until the block is full).  Rates are: $82.00 single, $109 double, $139 suite room, $159 hospitality room.


Sponsorship Opportunities

You can sponsor the Wisconsin Cover Crop Conference! 

Last year’s conference was attended by 400 people, the majority of which were farmers.
The sponsorship packages and benefits are listed in the table below.

**New this year***

A full extra day of sponsorship! Sponsors of the 2019 cover crop conference will also enjoy the benefit of recognition at the
WI Department of Agriculture Producer-Led Workshop and the Bugging out on Soil Health dinner being held the day before the Cover Crop Conference on February 19th.


For sponsorship questions, contact:  John Gaska,

Eventbrite - 2019 Wisconsin Cover Crop Conference - Sponsorships


Last Year's Conference

Click here for information about last year’s Wisconsin Cover Crop Conference!

Signature Sponsors



Platinum sponsors



Gold Sponsors





Silver sponsors


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