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7th Annual Symposium

Save the date for the 7th Annual Sustainable Cropping Systems Symposium scheduled for March 31, 2017. The theme of this year's symposium is "Sustainable Cropping Systems for Water Quality." Dr. Andrew Sharpley is the invited keynote who will kick off the symposium with his presentation "Exploring Phosphorus Paradoxes in Agriculture & Translating Science into Practice and Policy" at 12:20 pm in the Stuckeman Family Building. The rest of the symposium will follow.
Longer-term, diversified cropping systems can provide benefits to improve soil and water quality while maintaining farm profits. Photo courtesy of Mary Barbercheck

Longer-term, diversified cropping systems can provide benefits to improve soil and water quality while maintaining farm profits. Photo courtesy of Mary Barbercheck

Preserving water quality is a great concern facing state and federal governments, public and private research organizations, and local residents in the Northeast. Much of the concern with pollution in freshwater sources is associated with agricultural practices. This year, the EPA, Penn State Extension, researchers, and other local stakeholder groups have been working together to help farmers improve their management practices and meet the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) in the Chesapeake Bay. Meanwhile, researchers and service providers in agricultural disciplines continue to work alongside Pennsylvania farmers to help them improve their cropping strategies and build soil health, reduce over-application of pesticides and fertilizers, and identify other conservation strategies that can mitigate the negative impacts that farming might have on the environment.

This year's symposium features Dr. Andrew Sharpley, Professor at the University of Arkansas and co-chair of the Division of Agriculture's Environmental Task Force and Discovery Farms Program. He is also the current President of the Soil Science Society of America and prior to his role at the University of Arkansas, Andrew spent 25 years with the USDA-ARS in Oklahoma and then in Pennsylvania. He works closely with producers, farmers, and action agencies to investigate phosphorus cycling in soil-plant-water systems in relation to soil productivity and water quality. Attend his seminar "Exploring Phosphorous Paradoxes in Agriculture & Translating Science into Practice and Policy" at 12:20 pm in the Stuckeman Family Building.

The rest of the symposium follows with Lightning Talks at 1:30 that highlight Penn State researcher's work on sustainable cropping system practices and a Panel Discussion at 2:30 that discusses some of the water quality and nutrient management policies and regulations that drive the decisions that farmers have to make. Finally, a poster session beginning at 3:30 will conclude the symposium. Posters will be displayed from 1:30 to 4:30 and invitations are open to anyone doing research on cropping systems or water quality. If you are interested in submitting a poster please submit a 250-word abstract to Debasish Saha (dxs1005@psu.edu) by March 22.