PANHANDLE PERSPECTIVES: Third Annual Panhandle Soil Health Workshop March 2 in Bridgeport

The third annual Panhandle Soil Health Workshop sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Panhandle Research, Extension and Education Center will be an in-person event for ag producers, consultants, and others in the region.

The workshop will take place on March 2 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Prairie Winds Community Center in Bridgeport. The event is free, but registration is needed and can be done online.

Speakers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), the University of Wyoming (UW), and New Mexico State University (NMSU), as well as producers, will present soil health, soil health programs, and management practices that affect soil health in the region.

The workshop is intended to appeal primarily to farmers and ranchers, but also to crop consultants and anyone interested in soil, said Bijesh Maharjan, Soil and Nutrient Management Specialist at the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center, who is organizing it.

There is no registration fee, but advance registration is required by Feb. 20. People can register online at

They also can email Maharjan at or call him at 308-632-1372. There’s also a link at the Panhandle Research, Extension and Education Center’s website,

Crop consultants will be able to receive continuing education units in nutrient management and crop management.

The agenda includes discussion times, breaks, and the following topics from presenters:

  • Soil Health: What Is It, Do We Need It, and Can We Improve It? - Jay Norton, University of Wyoming Extension Soils Specialist and director of the UW Soil Resource Laboratory.
  • Systems Approach to No-Till and Soil Health – Paul Jasa, Extension Engineer, UNL
  • Soil Organic Matter and Cover Crops: Vesh Raj Thapa, Postdoctoral Research Associate, New Mexico State University
  • Cover Crops and Soil Health – Katja Koehler-Cole, Research Assistant Professor, UNL
  • Lunch
  • Rangeland, Grazing and Soil Health in the Sandhills – Mitch Stephenson, Associate Professor, Extension Specialist and Interim Director, UNL Research, Extension and Education Center
  • Soil Health Demonstration – Aaron Hird, State Soil Health Specialist, USDA NRCS
  • Addressing Soil Health Goals through Farm Program Financial Assistance – Robin Foulk and Sarah Gray, USDA NRCS
  • Soil Health Gap: Saurav Das, Postdoctoral Research Associate, UNL
  • No-till Practices: Challenges and Opportunities – Mark Watson, Producer
  •  General Discussion, Survey and Adjourn