Soil Academy 2012

Date: June 14, 2012 - September 5, 2012
Location: Mason Technology Center

Soil Academy 2012

Date September 5, 2012
Location:  Mason Technology Center, 474 S. Onondaga Road, Mason MI 48854
Time: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm

This is a refreher course in soil science for farmers and industry proferssionals.  It will cover basic soil science concepts and introduce scientific vocabulary needed to underastand more advanced topics in soil fertility and nutrient management.  Beginning farmers are especially encouraged to attend. 
The morning session will be held at the Mason Technology Center. 
The Soil Academy 2012 will feature the following:
·       USDA Soil Survey maps
·       Michigan soil types
·       Chemical and physical properties
·       Diagnostic and problem solving skills
·       Soil and water quality
·       Soil fertility and nutrient management basics
·       CCA and MAEAP 1 credits. 
Lunch will be provided.
In the afternoon, we will board a bus and visit
·       Muck farm agriculture
·       MSU soil fertility trials, East Lansing, MI 
·       Soil testing laboratory, East Lansing, MI
Some highlights of the soil academy will include:
How are soils formed?
Soils develop as a result of the interactions of five factors: climate, organisms, relief, parent material and time, e.g. soil = f(cl, o, r, pm, t). Differences in climate, organisms, relief, and parent material from one location to another as well as the amount of time elapsed have produced a wide variety of soils. In Michigan, glacial activity had a major influence in soil development.
What do the USDA Soil Survey maps tell us?
The USDA Soil Survey contains information that can be applied in managing croplands and woodlots; and for selecting sites for roads, ponds, buildings and other structures. Some people are unaware that great differences in soil properties can occur even within a short distance. Soils may be seasonally wet or subject to flooding. They may be shallow to bedrock. Soil may be unstable as a foundation for buildings or roads. Heavy clay or wet soil is poorly suited to septic tank absorption fields. A high water table makes soils poorly suited for basements or underground installations.  
We will look at the Web based Soil Survey (WSS) as an on-line tool to access soil survey maps and data.
What is the ideal soil composition for plant growth?
The ideal composition by volume for plant growth is considered to be:
45% Mineral Matter (from rocks)
5% Organic Matter (dead & living plant/animal material)
25% Air
25% Water 
How do we achieve this composition?
What are the important physical and chemical properties of soils that are important to plant agriculture?
How does texture and structure influence soil characteristics and nutrient availability?
What are the most important plant nutrients?
How does soil testing relate to fertilizer recommendations for crops?
Learn more by attending the soil academy on September 5.

This phase 1 session will serve as a primer to a comprehensive and cross commodity course in soil fertility and nutrient management phase 2 session planned for 2013.

Register online HERE!

View more events