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Soil health field day coming to rural Austin home

Cover crops, roller crimping and organics will be the focus of a soil health field day Tuesday, Sept. 7, at the Ruth and Jon Jovaag farm near Austin (53504 173rd Street). 

This Land Stewardship Project (LSP) event will run from 3:30-6 p.m., and is free and open to the public. Sign-in begins at 3 p.m., rain or shine. 

Register online at https://bit.ly/37N6zzv by Sept. 6. For more information, contact LSP’s Barb Sogn-Frank at 507-479-9119 or bsognfrank@landstewardshipproject.org.

This soil health field day will feature a walking tour of no-till soybeans planted into roller-crimped rye, crop rotations for organic, input-free corn, effective cover crop mixes and animal integration. The Jovaags will share how during the past seven years they’ve transformed conventionally cultivated corn and soybean fields into “continuous cover” landscapes through a diverse blend of soil health practices. 

 Steve Lawler, a farmer and soil scientist/resource specialist with the Mower County Soil and Water Conservation District, will be on-hand to shed light on field excavation studies and the power of healthy soil. He’ll also talk about what programs are available to support farmers who are interested in cover crop adoption and conservation management to reduce inputs and build healthy soil.  

 Also present and available for questions will be Lea Vereecke, Midwest organic crop consultant with the Rodale Institute. Lea specializes in assisting farmers in managing organic row crops, small grains, cover crops, industrial hemp and more.  

This field day is part of an ongoing series of soil health events the Land Stewardship Project is holding in the area. For details on other events, see landstewardshipproject.org.

DIRECTIONS: The farm is located 10 minutes south of Austin on 173rd Street; west of Highway 218 and east of Highway 105. Look for LSP signs.