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Soil Health Focus of Sept. 12 Field Day

The field day will focus on management practices that strengthen soil through increased infiltration, reduced erosion and improved microbial action.

Microbial growth, moisture management and soil health will be the major topics at North Dakota State University’s Dickinson Research Extension Center (DREC) Soil Health Field Day on Sept. 12.

The event begins at 9 a.m. MDT at the DREC ranch headquarters southwest of Manning (11092 15th St. S.W.) The ranch is 21 miles north of Dickinson on North Dakota Highway 22, or two miles south of Manning on North Dakota Highway 22 and three miles west on 15th Street Southwest.

“Soil health is an area that is receiving growing attention within the agriculture community,” says Doug Landblom, animal scientist at the DREC and coordinator of the field day. “Plants and animals depend on sun, water and soil biology, and it is important for everybody to understand that soil biological processes drive crop and forage production, and we must take better care of it.”

Researchers and educators will provide education on management practices that strengthen soil through increased infiltration, reduced erosion and improved microbial action.

Presenters and their topics are:

  • Josh Steffan, assistant professor of agriculture at Dickinson State University - soil microbial processes
  • Hal Weiser, Natural Resources Conservation Service soil health specialist - how cover crops can be useful and what species to plant and why
  • Sharon Weyers, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service soil scientist - how to use data in soil sample reports to improve soils
  • Heike Bucking, South Dakota State University soil microbiologist - how fungi and other components of soil maturity can contribute to soil stability and root symbiosis
  • Larry Cihacek, professor, NDSU Soil Science Department - soil health indicators
  • Landblom - the DREC’s integrated livestock and crop systems, and biological soil analysis

Attendees also will learn about rainfall simulations and system planning alternatives, which will help them find ways to implement data in various management scenarios.

“Our goal is to give producers more tools for their toolbox so that soil health improves and productivity increases,” Landblom says. “This field day is about creating opportunities for producers.”

The event is free of charge and includes lunch. Anyone planning to attend should contact the center at 701-456-1100 by Sept. 5 so event organizers know how many meals to provide.

For more information about the field day or research efforts at the DREC, call the center at 701-456-1100 or visit its website at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/DickinsonREC/.

NDSU Agriculture Communication - Aug. 13, 2018

Source:Doug Landblom, 701-456-1109, douglas.landblom@ndsu.edu
Editor:Ellen Crawford, 701-231-5391, ellen.crawford@ndsu.edu
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