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Author Topic: Penn State offers Introduction to Soils Course in Allentown
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Penn State offers Introduction to Soils Course in Allentown    (Posted Wed, Feb 9 '11 at 09:55 UTC)

When February 17, 2011 06:00 PM to March 03, 2011 09:00 PM
Where Lehigh County Ag Center, Allentown, PA
Contact Name Alison Grantham
Contact Phone (610) 746-1970

Good soil management is the basis for healthy, productive crops. Learn how soil texture, structure, biology and nutrient availability affect plant growth. You will leave this class with a plan to manage your soils next year.

Who should attend:
* New and aspiring farmers who wish to delve into the relationship between soil properties and crop productivity.
* New farmers who wish to develop a plan to optimize their soil management?

What to expect:
* In-depth information on how soil texture, biology and nutrient availability affect growth and productivity of your crops.
* An overview of options you can use on your farm to increase soil health and plant productivity.
* Nine hours of instruction.
* Hands on lab-work demonstrating how soil properties function.
* A free soil test.
* A soils notebook and resource cd.
* An introduction to the resources and support available for new producers.
* Instruction from experts from Penn State Cooperative Extension.

February 17th?Session I: The Soil System. We have to understand how soils work to manage our soils. Organic matter acts like a sponge holding water and nutrients for plants. PH regulates the availability of nutrients in soil. Millions of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa make nutrients available to plants, and keep plant diseases in check. In this first session we will use hands on activities to see how soil physical, biological and chemical properties work.

February 24?Session II: Managing Soil to Meet Plant Needs. Start with a soil test! Plants need water, nutrients, and oxygen. Specialists with over 32 years of combined experience will discuss how to use, lime, inorganic fertilizer, and organic nutrients such as manure, compost and cover crops to provide crops nutrients and improve soil structure.

March 3rd?Session III: Applying Soil Management Concepts. It?s time to apply what you have learned. Using soil test results from your farm you will calculate how much fertilizer, compost, manure or cover crop you need to grow/apply on your farm next year.

Alison Grantham, Penn State Start Farming
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