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News Release

Local Workshops Aim to Improve Soil Health

Salina, Kansas, July 17, 2013—Producers in Kansas seeking to improve their farm’s soil can attend a soil health training in August. National and local presenters from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will teach participants how to protect and improve the soil habitat. The training will be offered on three different days and in different locations:

  • August 6—Scott City, Kansas—William Carpenter 4-H Building, 600 E. Fairgrounds Road, 8:30 a.m.—11:30 a.m.
  • August 7—McPherson, Kansas—McPherson Museum, 1111 East Kansas Avenue, 10:00 a.m.—4:00 p.m. ($20 registration fee)
  • August 8—Holton, Kansas—Family Life Center, Evangel United Methodist Church, 227 Pennsylvania Avenue, 9 a.m.—3:30 p.m.

“At these workshops, we hope to change the way you view soils and improve your profit margin by applying agro-ecology principles,” said Dean Krehbiel, State Resource Conservationist, NRCS, Salina. “We’ll discuss how farming practices affect soil quality as well as things you can do to improve the soil quality.”

The keynote speaker is Ray Archuleta, a national conservation agronomist with NRCS. Archuleta travels around the country presenting information and technology that can help farmers improve their soil health. He says soils are a living factory of macroscopic and microscopic organisms. Providing a good habitat for those organisms improves your soil. Archuleta will demonstrate a simple way to test soils to determine how well they function.

“These meetings are a great opportunity to learn more about the important basics of soil function and biology, and how diverse cover crops can improve the soil’s ability to infiltrate water, resist drought and erosion, improve nutrient cycling, and produce healthy, abundant crops,” said Kris Ethridge, Resource Conservationist, Manhattan, Kansas. Ethridge is a speaker at one of the workshops and will be discussing the benefits of using cover crops.

For more information on these workshops, contact the following NRCS offices: USDA Service Center, NRCS, Scott City, KS, 620-872-3230; USDA Service Center, NRCS, McPherson, KS, 620-241-1836; USDA Service Center, NRCS, Holton, KS, 785-364-4638. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.