SUBLETTE, Ill. — A field day highlighting soil health through the use of conservation tillage practices and cover crops is planned from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Aug. 8, at the Althaus Brothers’ farm, 154 LaMoille Rd., Sublette.

The public is invited to explore properties of healthy soil with a Natural Resources Conservation Service soil scientist, learn about cover cropping basics and view plots and soil pits comparing conventional tillage and strip tillage.

“Though they have been grown for generations, cover crops are among today’s exciting frontiers in conservation,” said Aaron Seim, a district conservationist with the Lee County NRCS. “Cover crops are employed for a wide variety of uses such as covering, protecting or building the soil.

“Investing money, time and management in both cover crops and conservation tillage is a bold, but often highly productive, strategy for a farming system that is healthy over the long term — both economically and ecologically.”

“We are excited to be part of this farmland conservation field day in the upper reach of the Big Bureau Creek Watershed,” said Stacy James of Prairie Rivers Network. “Cover crops and reduced tillage are among the best practices to improve soil health while increasing farm productivity if done right. This field day will put interested farmers in touch with experts who have valuable insight.”

Attendance is free, but attendees are asked to register by contacting the Lee County Farm Bureau office at (815) 857-3531 or leecfb@comcast.net to ensure that enough food will be available for a lunch that will be provided.

The field day is sponsored by the NRCS offices of Bureau and Lee counties, Lee County Farm Bureau, Prairie Rivers Network, Illinois Stewardship Alliance and Friends of Big Bureau Creek Watershed.

For more information, contact Jen Filipiak, Illinois Stewardship Alliance conservation associate, at (217) 528-1563.