No-till, cover crops, and planned grazing workshop to be held on the 15th

The annual no-till, cover crops, and planned grazing workshop will be held Wednesday, February 15th in the Lifelong Learning Center on the campus of Northeast Community College in Norfolk.

Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. with coffee and rolls provided by the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD).

In the morning session, Dan Leininger will be talking about soil moisture monitoring and telemetry.  Leininger has worked at the Upper Big Blue NRD for 13 years as a Water Conservationist and was instrumental in developing the Nebraska Agricultural Water Use Network which measures soil moisture and crop evapo-transpiration to schedule irrigation on crops. Leininger also manages the Upper Big Blue NRD’s demonstration farm that uses crop rotation and cover crops to improve soil health which will reduce input costs and increase profit per acre.

Keith Berns will present:  Carbonomics – The “Currency” of Biological Systems.  Berns combines 20 years of no-till farming with 10 years of teaching Agriculture and Computers.  He is no-tilling 2,500 acres of irrigated and dryland corn, soybeans, rye, triticale, peas, sunflowers, and buckwheat.  Berns speaks on cover crops and soil health more than 20 times per year to various groups and audiences.

Mary Drewnoski will talk about the impacts of cattle grazing on croplands.  Drewnoski is a Beef Systems Specialist with UNL and is researching utilization of corn residue and cover crop forages for backgrounding calves and feeding beef cows. She will talk about how corn residue and cover crop grazing impacts soil health and how grazing cover crops positively impact crop yields.

Lunch will be provided by the LENRD at noon.

The afternoon program will include:  Ray Ward - Managing Fertility with Cover Crops in No-till Soils.  Ward, founder and president of Ward Laboratories says “Soil Health” is simply a measure of the interaction of plant growth to microbial activity”.  Ward will talk about the soil fertility concepts of this “new paradigm” in nutrient management where cover crops are added to continuous no-till cash cropping systems.

Lance Gunderson will present:  Integrating Soil Health Tests with Traditional Soil Tests.  Gunderson joined Ward Laboratories in the fall of 2002 and is currently the Director of Soil Health and New Test Development.  Gunderson will talk about correlating PLFA, Solvita, and Haney tests with standard soil tests in making a “modern day” recommendation for nutrient management plans.

Dan Gillespie, State No-Till Specialist, will discuss Cover Crop Management in corn/soybean rotations, and will highlight management options:  seeding, termination, and planting cash crops.

The workshop will end at 3:00 p.m. and is sponsored by:  the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the LENRD.  Reserve your seat by calling your local NRCS office or the LENRD at 402.371.7313.