Field day shares soil health tips and tricks from the pits

University of Minnesota Extension Educator Jodi DeJong-Hughes has spent much of career below ground analyzing soil health from pits on farms across Minnesota. This Sept. 10, she will be hosting a field day that will for the first time share how farmers can do this analysis on their own.

Held in Granite Falls, the field day will share how attendees can take a shovel to any part of their field and have a better understanding of what they are seeing for soil health. While farmers used to depend on the physical characteristics of crops and presence of weeds to gauge the state of their soil, DeJong-Hughes said more are taking a look below ground as the focus on soil health grows.

The field day will help farmers connect what they are seeing below ground with the results above ground.

“When they leave our field day, my hope is they can dig a hole on their farm and better understand what they are seeing, interpret what they are seeing, and learn how it came to be that way,” she said.

The field day will feature four pits with soil health experts present at each. The farmers will travel in small groups from pit to pit, learning about a different characteristic at each stop, including structural, physical and biological insights.

Farmers will then be able to take that knowledge and track their own soil health to determine if a certain practice is helping promote soil health on their farm. Attendees will also receive handouts to help them at home.

To keep the field day in small groups, there are only 55 spots available for attendees. Register today at z.umn.edu/SHfarmer or call Mary Jo at 320-235-0726 x2001.

Life in the Pits: A look at soil management and crop health

When: Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Where: American Legion – 60 6th Ave, Granite Falls, MN 56241

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