Organic farming workshops offered in March
LINCOLN, Neb. – Two days of organic farming workshops March 5 and 19 at the Lifelong Learning Center in Norfolk, Neb., will give participants the tools they need to farm organically. The workshops will benefit organic farmers, market gardeners and those desiring to transition from conventional to organic farming.
The March 5 workshop from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. will address weed control. Weed control ranks as the No. 1 problem limiting organic crop production.
Workshop presentations include:
– “Mechanical Weed Control and Field Preparation” by Larry Stanislav, certified organic farmer. Stanislav will share more than 30 years of farming organically, discussing field preparation, cover crops and mechanical weed control.
– “Weed Control with Flaming Research and Results” by Stevan Knezevic, UNL integrated weed management specialist, and George Gogos, professor of mechanical engineering at UNL. Knezevic and Gogos will share their research on broadleaf and grassy weed control in field corn, sweet corn, popcorn, soybean and wheat and discuss their findings about their custom-designed weed flamers and weed and crop tolerance to broadcast flaming.
The March 19 workshop will be from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Presentation titles include:
– “Soil Fertility and Organic Farming” by Charles Shapiro, UNL soil scientist. Shapiro will discuss maintaining and enhancing soil quality and soil fertility. He also will address how to determine nutrient needs when farming organically.
– “Using a Whole-Farm Budgeting Tool for Calculating Organic Farming Costs” by Roger Wilson, budget analyst in UNL’s ag economics department. Wilson will go over the cost of organic production and help participants learn a breakeven price for their operations.
– “Managing Farmland for Biodiversity” by John Quinn, UNL conservation ecologist. Quinn will discuss birds, insects and plants as parts of healthy ecosystems. He will go over the contributions organic farming systems can make to protect these organisms in Nebraska. He also will share the potential for biodiversity to improve the health of farm systems.
Lunch will be provided. For more information or to preregister by Feb. 26, contact the Madison County Extension office at (402) 370-4040 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Future organic farming workshops will include information on soil sampling, cover crops, improving a farm’s biodiversity, organic integrated pest management, open pollinated crop/organic varieties and record keeping. For more information visit the Web at http://organic.unl.edu/.
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From June through September, John Etchart spends most of the day driving a tractor through hayfields below the mountains near Meeker in northwestern Colorado.