Never treat soil like dirt

In the past, when working with farmers on soil conservation practices, I always advised them to “never treat the soil like dirt. Dirt is something that lies under your bed or discolors your carpet. Soil is a living organism required for optimal crop production.”

March 14, farmers and crop advisers will have a great opportunity to learn why healthy soil is so important. The Sandusky River Watershed Coalition will host a seminar presented by Jim Hoorman, OSU educator from Putnam County. The key topic for the day will be “Using Cover Crops to Improve Soil Health.” Jim and others will discuss subject areas such as eco-farming, soil ecology and nutrient cycling, using cover crops to adapt to extreme weather, biology of soil compaction, raising homegrown nitrogen plus using cover crops in crop rotations. There will also be time for questions and open discussion.

The seminar will be in the Aramark room in the Hoernemann Refectory, 90 Greenfield St., at Heidelberg University. Those wishing to attend may do so by contacting Cindy Brookes, watershed coordinator, at (419) 618-2876. Reservations are due by Tuesday and registration fee for the day (9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) is $15. Lunch is on your own.

Should you attend? Check the soil organic matter levels in soils now and compare them with those of 15, 20 or 30 years ago. That may help you decide!

John Crumrine,