Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources event to focus on soil health

Michigan State University will host its first Agriculture Innovation Day: Focus on Soils on Aug. 24, 2016, at the Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Michigan State University (MSU) will host its first Agriculture Innovation Day: Focus on Soils on Aug. 24, 2016, at the Saginaw Valley Research and ExtensionCenter in Frankenmuth, Michigan. 

Soil health is a vital component of all cropping systems. The economic success of any farming operation depends on farmers maintaining and improving the health of their soil and water. 

The educational field day will deliver cutting-edge information on soil health topics ranging from nutrient management and soil quality to compaction and tile technology. 

Farmers will have the opportunity to hear from science-based, experts and see the results of various techniques on both crop growth and soil quality. They will also learn about the soil testing and plant diagnostics resources offered by MSU

“Soil health is a broad topic that plays an important role for farmers across all cropping systems,” said Ron Bates, director of agriculture and agribusiness for MSU Extension. “This field day will equip farmers with the in-depth knowledge they need on soil health through practical demonstrations from leading experts.”  

In addition, attendees will hear from MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon over lunch. 

Throughout the day, farmers will have the opportunity to participate in eight sessions focused on:

  • Nutrient management
    • How technology can enhance decision making about nitrogen usage and rates.
    • A comprehensive look at phosphorus management and the related economics and environmental factors.
  • Soil quality
    • Techniques to improve soil quality, including the architecture of cover crops, extended rotations and interseeding.
  • Compaction
    • The effects of soil structure, controlled traffic and various tillage methods. 
    • Comparison of tires versus tracks and the pros and cons of each in relation to soil compaction. 
    • Reducing soil compaction through contact pressure and adjustments in pounds per square inch (psi).
  • Tile technology 
    • An in-depth look at the mobility of nutrients from the soil to tile lines.
    • New tile options to help limit nutrient movement and soil loss. 

In addition, MSU recruiters will be on hand to provide students with information about all of the degrees available through the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. 

MSU Agriculture Innovation Day is slated to become an annual event that will focus on in-depth education on a single topic. The event will rotate to various locations throughout the state. Experts will deliver  innovative information to help producers take the next step in improving their bottom line while maintaining environmentally sound practices on their farms. 

The 2016 event will begin with registration at 8 a.m. and wrap up around 4 p.m. The event is free and includes lunch. 

To learn more, visit www.msue.msu.edu/msuaginnovationday or contact Ron Bates at batesr@msu.edu.

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