Southeast Nebraska Soil Health Conference

SE NE Soil Health Conference Flyer

Producers and Agribusiness Professionals:  Join us at the Southeast Nebraska Soil Health Conference on Tuesday, March 3rd in Hickman. Soil health, cover crops, and grazing annual cover crops will be among the topics at the conference. The event will be at the new Community Center 115 Locust Street in Hickman, NE. Registration, coffee, donuts, and viewing of table displays will begin at 8:00 a.m., followed by the program at 9 a.m.

Conference Website:     

The conference theme is “Feeding the Below Ground and Above Ground Livestock”.  Crop producers and cattlemen are invited to the conference.  It’s an opportunity for farmers to learn new ideas about cover crops and soil health and make contacts that can have positive impacts on their farming operation. Sessions also may suggest ideas for on-farm research.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Dwayne Beck, manager of the SDSU Dakota Lakes research farm since 1990.  His work on developing and promoting diverse no-till cropping systems has made a huge difference in South Dakota to dramatically improve farm profitability while also doing a better job of protecting soil and water resources; enhancing wildlife habitat; reducing net carbon dioxide emissions and other  positive impacts. Beck will reflect on “Where We Are Heading” and “Not Forgetting the Basics”.

Dr. Ray Ward is president and co-owner of Ward Laboratories, Inc. in Kearney since 1983. Ward will explain the important role that organic matter plays for nutrient and water storage. Our native soils had organic matter levels about twice as high as most of our soils are today. Some producers have made great strides in improving the soil organic matter but the majority of the soils need much improvement.  Ward will explain the importance of nutrient cycling to build soil organic matter.

Other speakers will include UNL Extension Engineer Paul Jasa who will talk about the “Systems Approach to Soil Health”. Gary Lesoing, extension educator and state coordinator for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, will follow with an update on cover crops and soil health research. Mary Drewnoski, UNL Beef Systems Specialist will talk about cow-calf grazing of cover crops.  Tyler Burkey, Milford, Blake Huls, Cortland, Rodney Wiese, Wilber and Steve Mills, Greenwood are participating in a farm panel discussion sharing tips they have learned including increasing soil health.

Over twenty-five seed company and agribusiness displays will be on-site. Nebraska Corn Board is a major sponsor of the program along with the Lancaster County Farm Bureau and SARE.  The Southeast Nebraska Corn Growers Association is actively seeking new members at this meeting.

Please register for the conference before February 28th for meal count by going to: or by calling Lancaster County Extension at 402-441-7180.  For Certified Crop Advisers, CEUs will be available.

All exhibitor inquiries should go to Randy Pryor or