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Source: Conservation Technology Info Center news release

Row-bots, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, fish shocking and soil pits are all part of this year's Indian Creek Watershed Project Tour, hosted by the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) and the Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).

The tour takes place 8:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 19 at several locations near Fairbury, Illinois. Registration begins at 8 a.m. at Fairbury's First Baptist Church, and buses will leave the church at 8:45 a.m. to travel to the first stop. Lunch will be provided. Topics include cover crops and soil health, water quality and technology.

Advances in agricultural technology and how they are utilized in conservation agriculture are the focus of the first stop at Marcus Maier Farms. Products such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), row-bots that plant cover crop seed between the rows of grown corn, and coated nitrogen products will be highlighted.

Next, cover crops and soil health will be showcased at the second stop at Duane Dassow Farms. At this stop, tour participants can take an up-close look at what is beneath their feet when a soil scientist from the U.S Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service talks from a soil pit on the farm. Also, agronomist Tim Smith will discuss the project's on-farm demonstration projects.

For the final stop, the tour will visit Indian Creek for a look at water quality. There, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will conduct a fish shocking demonstration, which gives an indicator of the water quality of the creek. An Illinois American Water Company representative also will be in attendance talking about their water intake plants, which treat water from the Vermilion River, and how they are impacted by the river's water quality. Finally, an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency representative will discuss monitoring the water in Indian Creek.

"The value of the tour is taking an up-close look at the work going on in the Indian Creek Watershed Project," Chad Watts, CTIC project director, said. "It will certainly be a fun day of learning."

Registration is free. To register, call Livingston County SWCD at 815-844-6127 ext. 3.

The Indian Creek Watershed Project, led by the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC), provides educational, technical, financial and social support for producers and landowners to develop and utilize conservation systems. CTIC has been working with partners to demonstrate and implement water quality conservation practices in the Indian Creek watershed in east central Illinois. The 82-square mile drainage area flows to the South Fork of the Vermilion River in Livingston County. For more information on the project, visit

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