March 3, 2020


115 Locust Street, Hickman, Nebraska

The keynote speaker is Dr. Dwayne Beck, manager of the SDSU Dakota Lakes research farm since 1990.  His work on developing and promoting diverse no-till cropping systems has made a huge difference in South Dakota to dramatically improve farm profitability while also doing a better job of protecting soil and water resources; enhancing wildlife habitat; reducing net carbon dioxide emissions and other  positive impacts. Beck will reflect on “Where We Are Heading” and “Not Forgetting the Basics”. 

Dr. Ray Ward is president and co-owner of Ward Laboratories, Inc. in Kearney since 1983. Ward will explain the important role that organic matter plays for nutrient and water storage. Our native soils had organic matter levels about twice as high as most of our soils are today. Some producers have made great strides in improving the soil organic matter but the majority of the soils need much improvement.  Ward will explain the importance of nutrient cycling to build soil organic matter.

Other speakers will include UNL Extension Engineer Paul Jasa who will talk about the “Systems Approach to Soil Health”. Gary Lesoing, extension educator and state coordinator for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, will follow with an update on cover crops and soil health research. Mary Drewnoski, UNL Beef Systems Specialist will talk about cow-calf grazing of cover crops.  Tyler Burkey, Milford, Blake Huls, Cortland, Rodney Wiese, Wilber and Steve Mills, Greenwood are participating in a farm panel discussion sharing tips they have learned including increasing soil health.