Annual Mitchell Soil Health Event set Feb. 14 at Highland Conference Center |

Annual Mitchell Soil Health Event set Feb. 14 at Highland Conference Center

Paul Hetland, who farms near Mitchell, S.D., uses cover crops with his no-till cropping system to manage the soil moisture in his fields. The cover crop in last year’s wheat stubble is improving soil structure, increasing organic matter and the soil’s ablity to infiltrate and retain precipitation. Photo courtesy USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

BROOKINGS, S.D. – SDSU Extension will host the annual Mitchell Soil Health Event February 14, 2019 at the Highland Conference Center (2000 Highland Way) in Mitchell.

The event will focus on cover crops and their role in nutrient cycling, moisture management and soil biology and includes speakers and vendor booths.

The event begins and 9:30 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. Certified Crop Advisor credits are available. The event is offered at no cost and includes lunch.

Topic highlights

Cover Crops as a Management Tool – Lee Briese, independent crop consultant from south central North Dakota, will address the challenges of soil degradation, pest management and economic profitability. Briese was named 2016 Consultant of the Year from the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants (NAICC) and was the 2017 International Certified Crop Adviser (ICCA) of the Year. He currently works with growers in North Dakota.

Regenerating Soils with Microbiology – Kris Nichols, founder and principal scientist of KRIS (Knowledge for Regeneration and Innovation in Soils) Systems. Nichols is a soil biologist by trade, and spent 11 years as a Research Soil Biologist at the USDA Research Station at Mandan, N.D. She will discuss addressing current and future agricultural needs by building upon a soil health foundation and identifying biological methods for agricultural production, tools and practices to help reduce pest issues, soil erosion, fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Cover Crop Nutrient Cycling in South Dakota – Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist. Bly is the lead researcher on a large research project, based in South Dakota, that looks at the role cover crops play in nutrient cycling in soils. He will share some initial observations based on the first year of results.

Farmer Panel – Area producers will share their experiences with cover crops, no till and livestock integration.

Pre-register by February 8

To accommodate for lunch, organizers are asking that attendees pre-register by calling the Davison Conservation District office at 605-996-1564, ext. 3 or email on or before 5 p.m. February 8.

More information and a full agenda for the soil health workshop can be viewed online at or at

–SDSU Extension


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