Soils class to be held in Watertown

The University of Minnesota Extension in Carver, Hennepin, McLeod, and Wright counties are collaborating to offer a Soils 101 course on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, at Crow River Coffee in Watertown.

This course is an intensive, 7-hour class that provides a hands-on teaching environment for producers who want to learn more about the soils they farm.  The class is beneficial for producers that never had a soils class and for the soils enthusiast.

The objective of the class is to understand and manage soil quality, which will enhance yield production, decrease fertilizer inputs, and decrease tillage operations.

Topics will cover:

• Soil Fertility – this includes N, P, K, micronutrients, soil organic matter, why these are so important to our soils, and how to better manage them.

• Soil Chemistry – this includes cation exchange capacity, pH, bulk density, nutrient movement and storage, and water holding capacity.

• Soil Physical Properties – this includes how the soil was formed, soil structure, soil compaction and erosion.

The class size is limited to 15 producers to ensure interactive learning and plenty of time to ask individual questions.  This class will offer a total of 7 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits.  They will include: 4 CEU’s in Soil and Water, 1 CEU in Nutrient Management, and 1 CEU in Crop Management.  The last CEU will be in either Nutrient Management or Crop management.

Pre-registration by Monday, Jan. 28, is required. The instructor is Jodi DeJong-Hughes, who has a MS degree in Soil Fertility and 16 years of experience with the University of Minnesota Extension working with producers pertaining to soil fertility, soil quality, and compaction issues across Minnesota.

The class costs $60 per person and covers the cost of class materials.  Food/lunch will be available from Crow River Coffee at the expense of each participant.

The class will start at 8 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. Since class sizes are limited, please register early to ensure availability.

A class brochure can be viewed online at:  http://z.umn.edu/soils101.  For more information please contact Laura Kieser, Agriculture Extension Educator for Carver and Scott Counties.  Laura can be e-mailed at torb0022@umn.edu or by reached by phone at 952-466-5306.

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