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South Dakota Soil Health School
September 4, 2019 - September 6, 2019
PIERRE, S.D. – Learn how to increase yields and decrease input costs by improving soil health during the 2019 S.D. Soil Health Coalition (SDSHC) Soil Health School, held September 4-6 on the Kurt and Kathy Stiefvater farm near Salem.
Designed for agriculture producers and others interested in managing their soils for resiliency and profit, the Soil Health School brings together soil health experts, experienced producers and those new to soil health, to discuss tried and true management practices.
During the three-day Soil Health School, local and regional soil health experts will discuss the following topics:
- Holistic Management
- Soil Properties
- No-Till Planting and Planter Set-Up
- Crop Rotational Diversity
- Cover Crops
- Inventory of Farm Resources
- Soil Assessment and Monitoring
- Managing Soil Salinity
- Water Infiltration and Dynamics
- Soil Biology and Beneficial Insects
- Fencing and Watering Systems
- Forage Allocation
- Implementing Grazing Practices
Some of the local and regional soil health experts and producers presenting during the 2019 school include: Dr. Dwayne Beck Manager, Dakota Lakes Research Farm; Dr. Paul Jasa, Extension Engineer, University of Nebraska Lincoln; Jay Fuhrer, Soil Health Specialist, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); Kent Vlieger, S.D. Soil Health Specialist, NRCS; Nathan Jones, State Soil Scientist, NRCS; Eric Barsness, Agronomist, NRCS; Gared Shaffer, SDSU Extension Weeds Field Specialist; Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist; Dan Forgey, SDSHC Director, Manager Cronin Farms & 2016 Leopold Conservation Award Recipient; Doug Sieck, SDSHC Director, Selby Producer; Nick Jorgensen, Ideal Producer & 2015 Leopold Conservation Award Recipient; Dr. Jon Lundgren, Blue Dasher Farms and Lee Briese, Agronomist.
During the Soil Health School held on Stiefvater’s farm, participants will get to see for themselves how management practices like no-till and cover crops impact soil health. They can check out soil pits to see how roots burrow into soil structure and allow for water and nutrients to penetrate the clay and the alkaline earth. Stiefvater will also demonstrate how soil health practices improve soils resistance to compaction and ruts. Plus, there will be plenty of time for Q & A with experts and experienced producers like Stiefvater.
“I don’t know if my kids will come back to farm but there is a farm with a future here,” Stiefvater says. “If the farm stays in the family, I’m building value. It will be a different soil than it used to be. I’m improving and building organic levels and infiltration. What I’ve done isn’t disappearing. It builds soil and prevents water and wind erosion.”