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A Grand Forks, N.D., soil health workshop sponsored by local, county, state and federal organizations, drew upwards of 200 agriculturalists, most from northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota. This year’s attendance was nearly double that of a year ago.
Jay Bell, a soil science professor at the U of M, wants you to know this isn’t just dirt. It holds great beauty — “Isn’t this gorgeous?” he says at one point. “For me, I have pictures of soil hanging on my wall because that’s like artwork.”
Art perhaps, but the science of soil can have far-reaching effects, including climate change.
The Red River Valley region’s soil formed over 9,000 years. Speakers at a Grand Forks, N.D., conference have some suggestions on how farmers and ranchers can keep their precious soil healthy and productive.
Unlike water erosion, tillage erosion is not strongly affected by slope length. Therefore, in hilly regions that have many changes in slope, tillage erosion can be the dominant erosive force, explains Thomas Schumacher, retired South Dakota State University plant science professor.
South Dakota State University Extension Service
June 24, 2013
Sixty percent of all the world’s nutrients applied to fields never make it to the plants. That is an astonishing number, considering the cost of fertilizers. It is also worrisome considering that phosphorus is expected to run out in the next few decades, and nitrogen is not too far behind. So what is happening?
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