Soil health field day set for June 21 in Winside

Improving soil health through continuous no-till cropping systems is the focus of a field day on Tuesday, June 21, in Winside.  The event is hosted by No-till on the Plains. Producers, crop consultants, media and public are invited to attend.

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. at the farm, of Scott Heinemann 3 miles east and 3 miles south of Winside, 1/8 of a mile east of the intersection of 571 Ave and 849 road. Morning presentations include a rainfall simulator demonstration with Dan Gillespie, No-till Specialist with the Madison County Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a discussion of soils and soil communities in a soil pit with Dr. Ray Ward, President of Ward Laboratories of Kearney, and information on no-till planting equipment and system management will be presented by Paul Jasa, Extension Engineer with the Nebraska Extension in Lincoln.  Lunch will be provided at the Winside Auditorium, 424 Main St. in Winside. Afternoon presentations will feature Keith Berns, owner at Green Cover Seed in Bladen, who will discuss the soil carbon economics in the soil. Scott Heinemann, continuous no-till producer from Winside, will share tips for getting started with no-till and cover crops in northeast Nebraska. Dan Stelling will share his experience integrating livestock into the no-till system on his farms.

If you’re a member of No-till on the Plains, registration is $15 per person.  Registration is $30 per person for non-members.  Pre-register at by June 17.  Send your receipt to the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District office in Norfolk for reimbursement of your registration fee.  Limited space is available for walk-ins, with meals not guaranteed.

No-till farming systems offer several advantages to producers willing to implement the system. Fewer trips across fields without tillage passes will reduce fuel costs. Increasing crops in rotations breaks weed and insect pest cycles. Increased crop residue and root systems will increase soil organic matter and microbiological activity, thereby increasing the productiveness and fertility of the soil. Implemented in a site-specific systems approach, no-till will, over time, outperform conventional tillage.

This high-quality education event is funded through a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust with support from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service and University of Nebraska Extension. Sponsorship is provided by Green Cover Seed, Arrow Seed and the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

To meet its mission, No-till on the Plains hosts field events, provides a networking opportunity for producers and the annual Winter Conference for producers to gain valuable no-till information.  Visit or call 785-210-4549 for more information. Pre-registration online is encouraged.