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2018 Soil Health Workshops

We are preparing the historical information of presenters and a photo gallery of the 2018 Soil Workshops.   Thank you for your patience!   It will be along shortly!

Soil Acidity on the Palouse – Digging Deeper

8:00am to 5:30pm Venue: Banyans on the Ridge



Tabitha Brown

Soil Acidity Beyond Lime and Aluminum Toxicity: Soil Phosphorus and Soil Health

Tabitha Brown, in collaboration with the University of Idaho and Latah County growers, has been conducting on-farm research in liming acidic soils. She will discuss her findings on how liming effect soil aggregate stability and extractable soil phosphorous. She will compare traditional soil P extraction method typically used for Palouse soils with Haney extraction method promoted by NRCS. The Haney method was thought to be a better estimation on P sufficiency level because the test mimics root zone P chemistry. Tabitha will also briefly discuss the causes of soil acidity in Palouse are and lime management strategies.

Dr. Tabitha Brown of the Latah Soil and Water Conservation District and WSU

Paul Carter

Soil Acidity in the Palouse; What, Why, and How.

Presentation will include survey data collected in Columbia County and various other locations in the Palouse, why we have an acidity problem, and how we are going to continue farming in the future. Research results will be presented that include the use of lime applications and additional micronutrients based on the soil test results. These will include evidence of soil pH changes and wheat yield responses.

– Dr. Paul Carter: Extension Specialist for Columbia County

Doug Finkelnburg

Soil and Crop Response to Liming in Northern Idaho On-farm Testing

Soil and agronomic responses to liming a direct seeded field in an annually cropped dryland system will be discussed. Implications for increased broadleaf and grassy weed herbicide options and crop rotation choices in the treatments with strong pH corrections vs the untreated soils will be explored.

– Doug Finkelnburg: Extension Specialist for Nez Perce County & Assistant Professor at UI


Management Strategies Can Alleviate the Acceleration of Soil Acidification

Nitrogen-induced soil acidification is a growing concern in wheat producing states. The soil acidification alters soil chemistry, fertility, and soil microbes, which has major effects on soil health, crop productivity, and cropping systems. The impact of acidification by N fertilization is related to both that application rate and form of N fertilizer. Although liming and soil amendments can be used to alleviate soil acidity. Applying N at the right rate, right form, right timing, and right location is a key to slow down the acidification.

Dr. Haiying Tao: WSU Crops and Soils Assistant Professor and Nutrient Management Specialist

Using Soil Buffer Tests to Predict Lime Requirement

Different soils can require very different quantities of lime to raise soil pH. Buffer Tests is a quick method that soil test labs use for recommendation for how much lime to apply. This presentation will provide an overview of how buffer tests work, and how the different tests perform on Palouse soils. The audience will come away with an increased understanding of how to use this information on their soil test reports to better understand lime requirements on their soils.

Lime Calculator: In this hands-on mini-workshop, we will provide an overview of how to use the online lime calculator provided by WSU Extension as a decision support tool (attendees are encouraged to bring tablets, laptops, or smartphones to fully participate in this workshop).

-Carol McFarland: WSU Department of Crops and Soil

Dr. Isaac Madsen WOCS

Increasing Bio-Diversity and Active Root Growth In Dryland Agriculture in the iPNW

Innovative cropping systems offer opportunities to increase biodiversity and the duration of active root growth for dryland cropping systems. Discussion will primarily focus on the practices of intercropping, dual purpose winter crops, and companion cropping as alternatives to cover cropping for increasing biodiversity and soil carbon.

Dr. Isaac Madsen: Extension Agronomist WSU Department of Crop and Soil Science – Pullman, WA

Chad Kruger, Director of Northwestern Washington Research & Extension Center

Funding for Soil Health

This presentation will provide an overview of on-farm research funding opportunities offered by Western SARE. The status of Washington State’s Soil Health Initiative and related legislation will also be reviewed.

Chad Kruger: Director of Northwestern Washington Research & Extension Center, Puyallup Research & Extension Center, and Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources- Washington State University


Panel: Cover Cropping

Eastern Washington Farmers will share their on-the-ground experience with cover crops. The session will be open question and answer, with experienced farmers sharing their successes and lessons learned.