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Future of agriculture explored at farming evolution workshop PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kyle Arnoldy   

Roughly 160 individuals gathered at the Phillips County Event Center for “The Farming Evolution: Where Do You Fit?” workshop Thursday, Feb. 13.

NRCS soil conservationist Joe Crowder expressed his pleasure with the turnout, noting that in the workshop’s third year it continues to get bigger and better. This was the first year vendors were included as well.

Kathy Buttle, pictured at left, and Dallas Johannsen examine the moisture in the soils and dirt levels in the runoff after running the rainfall simulator over trays of soils from fields with different tillage histories Thursday afternoon at the Phillips County Event Center.  

—Enterprise photo

During the nearly eight-hour event, a number of topics were explored that dealt with maintaining healthy soil. One of the biggest attractions during the day was the rainfall simulator demonstration.

Dallas Johannsen and Kathy Buttle with the Natural Resources Conservation Service used the simulator to examine the different soil management practices and showcase no-till versus tillage at different levels of cover.

The simulator drenched soils with approximately an inch and a half of water in 15 minutes to determine the volume and dirt levels in the runoff.

“The main takeaway from this is that we need to take better care of our soils,” Buttle said.

Joel Moffet and Michal Casper with the NRCS soil health team presented the difference between conventional tilling and no-till residue management. They touched on how rain events affect soil and looked at the importance of the microbiology under the ground.

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Holyoke Enterprise February 20, 2014