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Serving: MN

Minnesota Extension plans Soil Management Summit

Paula Mohr Dorian Gatchell standing in a soil pit looking at a soil sample
ALL THINGS SOIL: Numerous soil management topics will be covered at the 17th annual Soil Management Summit, hosted by the University of Minnesota Extension in Mankato in December. Dorian Gatchell, Minnesota Agricultural Services, will talk about managing weeds in cover crops or reduced tillage. Gatchell is pictured in a soil pit at another U-M Extension soils event held in September 2019 near Granite Falls.
The former Conservation Tillage Conference will be held Dec. 14-15 in Mankato, Minn.

The University of Minnesota Extension soils team is hosting the 17th annual Soil Management Summit Dec. 14-15 in Mankato, Minn.

The event, previously known as the Conservation Tillage Conference, will be held at the Mayo Clinic Event Center.

The conference offers practical, hands-on information for growers interested in improving soil health. Speakers include growers, agronomists, academic experts and production economists.

The keynote address, at 9 a.m. Dec. 14, will be given by Rattan Lal, a professor at Ohio State University's College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. Known as one of the world's top soil scientists, Lal has focused on sequestering carbon in agriculture and restoring soil health, with the goal of mitigating global warming. The agricultural practices Lal has advocated, such as no-till, cover crops and agroforestry, are now at the heart of efforts to improve agricultural systems in the tropics and globally. He has received numerous international awards for his work over the years, including the World Food Prize, the Canada-based Arrell Global Food Innovation Award and the Norman Borlaug Award.

Summit details

Tuesday morning concurrent topics at the summit include evaluating your business plans for yourself and your lender, keeping soil on the land, soil microbiology and cover crop-insect interactions, planning farm transitions, tillage systems and fertility, and the perfect no-till-cover crop combo.

Tuesday afternoon concurrent topics include preventing soil compaction, carbon markets and fertility when using cover crops.

Wednesday morning topics include hands-on soil demonstrations, soil assessment, planter and combine settings, manure management, diversifying crops with small grains, cover crop how-tos, weed management, and transitioning to organic farming.

Tuesday is also a big day for attendee favorites. In the afternoon, a farmer panel discussion will be featured, and in the evening, industry table talks will be held.

More than 20 vendors representing equipment, products and services will be on-site throughout both days. Attendees who stay for the entire conference will be offered 12 continuing education units (CEU).

The early bird fee is $155 for the full conference. After Nov. 30, the fee is $185.

For more information on the agenda, lodging, program speakers and to register, visit


TAGS: Soil Health
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