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Ferdinand workshop set Feb. 9 on soil health

NRCS presentation on implementing the carbon cycle into farming operations

— Marlon Winger, Soil Health Specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, will be participating in a workshop in Ferdinand next Tuesday.

On Feb. 9, he will talk at the Soil Health Workshop at the Assumption Parish Hall, 514 Maple Street in Ferdinand. Winger’s presentation will cover implementing the carbon cycle into farming operations along with the available tools to measure soil health.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and there is a $5 fee to cover the workshop and lunch. For information and to RSVP, call (208) 937-2291, ext. 3 or (208) 983-1046, ext. 3.

The workshop is hosted by the Lewis Soil Conservation and Idaho Soil and Water Conservation districts.

“ Expanding the normal growing season with cover crops – ‘Biological Primers’ – helps the soil become more resilient,” Winger said. “The understanding of the carbon cycle has been neglected for many years.”

Winger is one of two principle presenters at the East Side and West Side Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ Soil Health Workshop on Cover Crops. The workshop will be held Feb. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Shilo Inn in Idaho Falls. There he will demonstrate the NRCS’s rainfall simulator to illustrate his talk about how cover crops improve the soil’s biological, chemical and physical attributes while reducing input costs. Added benefits of cover crops include contributing to increased yields in both irrigated and dryland cropping systems.

“The rainfall simulator is a great way to show how healthy soils and poor soils react in an identical situation. It really speaks volumes,” Winger said.

The workshop’s other presenter, Brendon Rockey of Rockey Farms LLC of Center, Colo, is a pioneer in the use cover, companion and rotational crops along with “green manure” to boost farm profitability and sustainably. Rockey is a third-generation farmer with years of experience, who has conducted his own extensive research trials. He currently grows a wide array of specialty potatoes and other crops.

The cost for those who pre-register by Feb. 1 is $20 per person. On-site registration is $25. For information about the workshop and to register, call 208-522-6350, ext. 3.

On Feb. 17, Winger and Rockey join forces again for the Direct Seed/Cover Crop Workshop at the Burley Inn and Convention Center to talk about the value of healthy soil and how to achieve it. Registration takes place at 8 a.m. For information and to RSVP, call the East Cassia and West Cassia Soil and Water Conservation districts at 208-878-5556.


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