WCREEC Hosts Nebraska Soil Health School

by Megan Amos | Student Writer

Nebraska Soil Health School
Advanced demonstrations, innovative research and a panel discussion were just a few of the educational opportunities offered at the second Nebraska Soil Health School on June 27-28 in North Platte.
July 9, 2023

Lincoln, Neb. —The West Central Research, Extension and Education Center in North Platte recently hosted a Soil Health School for students, farmers and others interested in soil health. The two-day event started on Tuesday, June 27 and concluded with a live demonstration on Wednesday, June 28. The Soil Health School included several guest speakers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, including 9.5 certified crop advisors.

The event covered multiple elements of soil health such as no-till approaches to production, nitrogen fixation, roles of manure, and carbon markets. Paul Jasa, an Extension engineer at UNL, stated, “Healthy soil gives you healthier crops, healthier food and healthier communities.” Jasa has studied the effects of no-till for 30 years and spoke on the benefits of no-till farming and crop residue, explaining how we need to stop degrading the soil.

Additionally, Carlos Villarreal, a state soil scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service, gave a soil health demonstration with a live rainfall simulator. The simulator workshop demonstrated that no-till soil with residue had less erosion, absorbed rainfall better, and overall had better soil biology.

Many certified crop advisors and Extension educators were in attendance and completed a panel discussion to answer questions regarding soil health. Overall, the workshop was well attended and covered important topics in the crop production industry.