Farmers wanting to learn more about building soil and improving crop yields and profits can attend the upcoming workshops in southern Minnesota, which will feature “The Soil Guy,” Ray Archuleta, from Missouri.
The workshops are sponsored by the Carver, Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn and Mower soil and water conservation districts and the University of Minnesota. The Land Stewardship Project is handling registrations.
Event organizers says there are few soil health presenters traveling across the country that are as dynamic as Archuleta. After 30 years as a Natural Resources Conservation Service soil conservationist, agronomist and water quality specialist in New Mexico, Missouri, Oregon and North Carolina, Archuleta retired in 2017 and founded Soil Health Consultants LLC and the Soil Health Academy. He leads workshops for farmers across the U.S.
In addition to consulting work in the U.S. and internationally, Archuleta owns and operates a farm near Seymour, Mo., which he operates with his wife and family.
Archuleta will share the basics of building ecological and economic integrity on the farm, and challenge attendees to take part in the current soil health revolution. He will discuss how to use new soil assessment tools and provide an overview of systems that farmers could put into practice, thus reducing their use of synthetic fertilizers and other chemical inputs without sacrificing yields.
The meetings run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sign-in begins at 9:30 a.m. A $20 fee includes a meal. Please RSVP by March 23.
The daytime meetings are:
• March 27, Lewiston Community Center, 75 Rice St.
• March 28, Faribault American Legion, 112 Fifth St. NE
• March 29, Kasson Events Center, 401 Eighth St. SE
There is a $10 scholarship rate for students and additional family members.
Also, and evening meeting from 6 to 9 p.m. March 28 will be at Austin Riverland Community College, West Campus-Garage, 1900 Eighth Ave. NW. Sign-in and a light supper begins at 5:15 p.m. There is no fee for this meeting. Also, RSVPs are requested to ensure adequate seating and food.
Farmer panels will participate at these workshops:
• Everett Rolfing, Lewiston, row crops and hay, vertical-till, no-till and cover crops
• Willie Erdmann, Ridgeway, cattle, row crops, hay, small grain, cover crop mixes
• Chuck Henry, Dover, all-grass organic dairy, double cropping of small grains with sorghum sudan, and other forage and cover crop options.
• Tim Little, Faribault, row crops, no-till beans and cover crops
• John Bonde, Nerstrand, row crops, hogs, strip till, manure application and cover crop interseeding
• Kaleb Anderson, Goodhue, beef, pasture, hay, no-till row crops and multi-species covers
• John Meyer, Stewartville, 100% no-till row crops and cover crops, oats as spring cover crop before grain, mixed covers before corn
• Kevin Connelly, Byron, dairy, beef, row crops, small grains, forages and cover crops
• Tom Pyfferoen, Pine Island, no-till row crops and cover crops, small grains, forages and beef
RSVP to Land Stewardship Project, Lewiston, 507-523-3366, ext. 102. Or call these SWCDs: Rice, 507-332-5408; Dodge, 507-374-6364, ext. 3; or Mower, 507-434-2603, ext. 5. Or register online.