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Strike ‘Pay Dirt’ at northern Indiana soils meeting

News and Notes: Elkhart County SWCD plans a blockbuster program. Other winter meetings will focus on succession planning and dairy technology.

December 29, 2022

3 Min Read
cover crops
SOIL HEALTH: Cover crops will take center stage at the Elkhart County Soil and Water Conservation District program on Feb. 28. Tom J. Bechman

Here’s your chance to strike gold when it comes to mining knowledge about soil health. Join the Elkhart County Soil and Water Conservation District on Feb. 28 for Pay Dirt, a one-day meeting centered around cover crops and soil health.

“We’re bringing in some experts in the field,” says Jim Hess, Elkhart County SWCD manager. “This should be a really energetic day for agriculture in northern Indiana.”

Scheduled speakers include:

Ray Archuleta. Known as The Soil Guy, Archuleta was once a soil health proponent for the Natural Resources Conservation Service. He’s retired from NRCS but not from spreading the message about soil health. He brings practical knowledge about the world below the soil surface to share with growers.

Rick Clark. Clark operates Clark Land and Cattle Co. near Williamsport, Ind., and is known as the Farm Green guy. Clark has multiple years of experience planting green into cover crops, but that’s only part of what he does. He and his family also raise organic crops and delve into crops besides corn and soybeans.

Jason Mauck. Mauck’s goal is keeping the soil surface covered year-round on his farm near Gaston, Ind. Come learn how he does it, using techniques such as intercropping.

The chance to hear any one of these speakers would be enticing enough, but at Pay Dirt, you get to hear all three plus more, Hess says. The $25 registration fee includes lunch. The program will be held at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds. Call 574-623-2030 or register online at elkcoswcd.org.

Succession planning workshops

Renee Wiatt, Purdue family business management specialist, says farm families need to find consensus on goals and where they envision their operation going before they bring a lawyer into succession planning talks. She’s part of the Purdue Extension Planning Team, which put together a series of workshops for farm families ready to plan how the operation can transition to the next generation.

These workshops begin at 10 a.m. local time and run until 3 p.m. You can also schedule virtual guidance sessions for individualized discussions. Contact your local Extension office for more information.

Dates and locations, all in Indiana, include:

  • Jan. 12, Mooresville Public Library, Mooresville

  • Jan. 17, Clay County Extension Office, Brazil

  • Jan. 19, Bartholomew County Extension Office, Columbus

  • Jan. 19, Hopewell Mennonite Church, Kouts

  • Jan. 25, Kokomo Public Library, Kokomo

  • Jan. 26, Wayne County Extension Office, Richmond

  • Jan. 26, White County Fairgrounds, Reynolds

  • Jan. 26, Harrison County Extension Office, Corydon

  • Feb. 1, Spencer County Youth and Community Center, Chrisney

  • Feb. 2, Huntington University Habecker Dining Commons, Huntington

Registration is $30 per person. Register online.

2023 Indiana Dairy Producers Forum

Anyone interested in dairy and forage production should make plans to be in French Lick for the Indiana Dairy Producers Forum on Feb. 7-8. Steve Obert, executive director, is excited about this year’s new pre-conference session about technology.

Technologies to be showcased include an automated vertical forage system from HydroGreen and the information-collecting bolus from SmaXtec. Other featured technologies include the Pulse NeedleFree system for needle-free injections and a cooling system from Ves-Artex that senses the presence of a cow before spraying, saving up to 80% in water usage. Visit indianadairy.org to register.

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