No-till on the Plains draws 60 in Marion Co.

No-till on the Plains? whirlwind exposition was in Marion County late in 2014 with about 60 people participating.

The focus of the expo, according to information from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, was on planting diverse mixes of cover crops in order to improve the health of the soil.

NRCS personnel opened the workshop with demonstrations of how rainfall is absorbed by conventional, no-till and grass covered soils.

The group took a trip to farms owned by Randy and Doug Svitak in the northern part of Marion County.

The first stop was at a soil trench dug between a conventionally farmed field and a no-tilled field.

Soil scientist Gary Parks pointed out the differences in the two soil profiles, NRCS sources said.

The second stop was at a field covered with sunflowers and a variety of other plants such as radishes, turnips and clover.

Cattle will be turned into the fields to add manure to the plant mixtures, followed by the field being planted to spring crop.

Speakers included University of Nebraska Extension Engineer Paul Jasa, soil scientist Greg Scott, Star Seed agronomist Dale Strickler, Sedgwick County producer Ryan Speer and Clay County producer Josh Lloyd.