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SOIL HEALTH

Whatever the reasons for the increase in blowing topsoil, we need to figure out a solution because the topsoil increasingly is being depleted.
The 33rd Annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference was held at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Feb. 24-26.
Lisa Schulte Moore was named a 2021 MacArthur Fellow, for her leadership in research, development and expansion of prairie strips.
Lance Klessig, a resource specialist for Winona County Soil and Water Conservation District, has built a strong following through his in-person workshops and his YouTube channel.

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People traveled from five different states to an Aug. 10 soil health field day held by the Winona County Soil and Water Conservation District and Unruh Cover Cropping.
Farmers in the southern Red River Valley who experienced drought conditions a month ago, along with 50 mph winds, now have gotten a shot of rain. Soils that moved also moved weed seed, which can contaminate neighboring fields with tough-to-control waterhemp. A return to hot, dry conditions makes those weeds even harder to control.
Mike and Joan Gilles, who milk about 110 cows and have 100 acres of open ground for pasture grass with another 150 acres of land they rent for growing forages, hosted a pasture walk on June 15 sponsored by the Sustainable Farming Association and the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship.
Farmers dedicated to conservation like Joan Heim-Welch and direct assistance from local conservation offices have put the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program in the spotlight as one of the best of its kind in the country.
Initiatives to invest millions of dollars in soil health programs, sustainable farming practices, incentives for farmers to adopt environmental-friendly methods, and to sequester carbon in the soil have had a mixed reception in the state Legislature, where certain provisions were adopted while others didn't sniff the finish line.
The discussion was led by Heidi Roop, assistant professor and extension specialist at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Soil, Water and Climate, with the goal of discussing ways that farms in the state can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand soil health practices.

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Olsen Custom Farms of Hendricks, Minn., has constructed a 14-acre site for making “humus compost” from the farm’s 3,500-head confinement beef custom feedlot near Toronto, S.D. The idea is to improve crop yields yields while replacing synthetic fertilizers, all while reducing a carbon footprint. The company believes it will be smart to get ahead of federal policies that likely will influence farm nutrient practices.
This is the annual Farming and Ranching for the Bottom Line event.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has signed an executive creating a new Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the result of a merger between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

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