Colorado producers will be offered a free Natural Resources Conservation Service soils workshop in Holyoke from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. this Thursday, with a lunch provided.
The event in the Phillips County Event Center at the fairgrounds is labeled "The Farming Evolution: Where Do You Fit?"
Farmer understanding of soil has not kept pace with technological changes, according to sources who will be speaking at the session, but recent scientific research on how the soil works has led to new insights into this complex system, they note.
These research findings, coupled with results from farmers' "breaking the rules," are increasing understanding of how soil works, agree Colorado NRCS Soil Health team members Michal Casper and Joel Moffett, who will share what they term "exciting discoveries" at the Holyoke meeting.
A rainfall simulator will be demonstrated by researchers Dallas Johannesen and Kathy Buttle. If producers have not seen this unit in action, they are urged to do so by conference organizers. Trays of soil are collected from farm lands.
The unit rains on the samples of different tillage methods, and the runoff is captured in clear glass jars for analysis. The volume of dirt levels in the captured water varies markedly, showing how different methods of tillage impact on soil function.
Attendees will learn about weed control strategies to help address herbicide-resistant weed.
In another session, Tim Becker will show how cover crops perform in Phillips County and other northeast state locations during the last summer. Becker, a soil conservationist with NRCS, will present some new information for producers.
Aaron Waller, NRCS economist, will explore the economics of cover crops and residue management techniques during the seminar.
Higher input costs, lower valued crops, and ever-changing weather patterns are standard today, and growers are urged to attend the meeting for tips on how to handle this scenario. While registration is not required, those planning to attend are asked to sign in early so lunches can be planned. Call (970) 854-2812, ext. 3 or go on line at www.ycconservation.com. You may also send in your name on line at email@example.com.