Soil Health and Cover Crops Forum

KeithCoverCrop

Photo from SDCGA VP Keith Alverson’s corn field in 2013.

Protecting and enhancing the land is a priority for all farmers as it is the lifeblood of their operation. A great way to improve soil is by planting cover crops. Cover cropping has become increasingly popular across South Dakota as it provides numerous benefits including reduced erosion, increased water-holding capacity, recycling of nutrients, reduced noxious weeds, reduced compaction, wildlife habitat and increased yields the following year.

To inform grower about cover crops, South Dakota State University Extension Regional Centers at Watertown, Winner and Sioux Falls will be hosting a forum and live broadcast of the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health at 9 a.m. CST on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014.

Concurrently, NRCS and SDSU Extension Service are joining 200+ sites nationwide in hosting free local forums in support of local soil health activities. The national conference (sponsored by the Howard G. Buffet Foundation, Sustainable Ag Research and Education and the Natural Resources Conservation Service) will focus on prospects for cover crops and soil health improvements and feature Howard G. Buffett, NRCS Chief Jason Weller and a panel of expert producers.

“This will be a great opportunity for farmers interested in cover crops and soil health to meet up with like-minded individuals from their local area to discuss both local and national issues related to cover crops,” says Rob Myers, conference chairman and regional director of Extension programs for the North Central Region SARE. Forum participants will have the opportunity to provide ideas and recommendations that will be forwarded to national researchers and policy makers.

Attending the nationwide broadcast is free of charge and open to anyone, but seating is limited. Following the broadcast, discuss with local experts soil health management systems, how cover cropping can build soil health, improve yields, curb erosion, manage pests and build resilience into farming systems.

Please RSVP to ensure adequate accommodations at the 3 SDSU Extension Centers:

  • Winner: 325 S. Monroe St. | RSVP: Bob Fanning, Plant Pathology Field Specialist, SDSU Extension at (605) 842-1267 or robert.fanning@sdstate.edu.
  • Sioux Falls: 2001 East 8th Street | RSVP: Anthony Bly, Extension Soils Field Specialist at (605) 782-3290 or Anthony.Bly@sdstate.edu.
  • Watertown: 1910 West Kemp Avenue | RSVP: Jim Dylla, District Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) at (605) 886-8202, Ext. 3 or James.Dylla@sd.usda.gov.

For conference information, visit http://www.SARE.org/covercropconference

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