Secrets in the soil – dig a little, learn a lot

There’s a whole world beneath the surface. Learn more about soil health at MSU Agriculture Innovation Day: Focus on Soils on Aug. 24, 2016.

MSU Extension educator Paul Gross talks about healthy soil in a root pit at a recent event.

MSU Extension educator Paul Gross talks about healthy soil in a root pit at a recent event.

It’s not unusual that our view of landscapes, fields and farms is primarily on what is happening above the surface. We survey a world of lush vegetation and vibrant crops with little thought of the soil beneath them. Many of the advancements in modern agriculture have led to increases in yield and productivity even as the world below may be declining in health. In this hidden world, we may be losing suitable habitat for the myriad of soil organisms that support growing plants. On Aug. 24, MSU Agriculture Innovation Day – Focus on Soil in Frankenmuth, MI, will teach attendees how to restore this habitat by managing for soil health to increase crop productivity and profitability while improving the environment. Soil health management includes minimizing tillage, diversifying crops and using cover crops.

The time has come to pay attention to what’s happening below the surface in addition to above. To unlock the secrets of the soil, we need to dig a little to learn a lot about how management practices impact soil health. Michigan State University (MSU) will host its first MSU Agriculture Innovation Day: Focus on Soils on Aug. 24, 2016, at the Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center in Frankenmuth, Michigan. At this educational field day, farmers can get to the bottom of soil health by visiting a root pit comparing two management practices. Join MSU Extension educators and researchers in the pit and see that healthy soil has a certain smell, feel and look. Current research on soil health will be discussed during this demonstration.

The USDA National Resource Conservation Service has a variety of excellent soil health resources. For more information on soil health, contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), Paul Gross at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Christina Curell at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Related Articles