ESBON, Kan. — The Kansas Soil Health Alliance is hosting a Central Kansas Soil Health Bus Tour on August 1-2, departing and returning from the Salina Hilton Garden Inn each day. Each tour day includes several stops showcasing different aspects of soil health. Attendees can participate in one or both tour days. For those who are interested, there is also a bonus dinner, drinks, and discussions event on the evening of August 1 at the hotel.
August 1 tours stay close to Salina and include stops at The Land Institute, Saline County Forage Systems Demonstration Plot, Bret Keeler farm near Mentor, Kelly & Chris Novak farm near Tampa, and Tiffany Cattle Company near Herington. During the first two stops, tour participants will learn about perennial grains and polyculture farming and how annual grasses fit into crop rotation as covers based on the growing season. The farm tours will include fields with intense crop rotations that include cover crops, where cover crops were grazed for different lengths of time then seeded to soybeans, and where compost extracts are being used as biological in-furrow inputs.
August 2 tours head further south and stop at Jacob Farms near Sedgwick, CJ & Russell Blew farm near Castleton, and Austin Schweitzer farm near Sterling. Throughout the day, attendees will see long-term no-till and cover crop fields that are incorporating a living root for nearly 365 days a year, irrigated pastures where cows and yearlings graze year-round, and sandy soils with 0.5% SOM that are growing wheat and soybeans behind grazed and ungrazed cover crops. In-between farm stops, the tour will enjoy lunch at Kauffman Seeds while listening to a presentation by Lance Gunderson of Regen Ag Lab. The day will finish with a tour of Exapta Solutions in McPherson where attendees will learn about products designed to help producers find solutions to their seeding challenges.
Snacks, refreshments, and lunch are included for each tour day. Prices begin at $25 per tour day, $15 for August 1 evening event, or all three events can be bundled for $55. A block of hotel rooms is available at the Hilton Garden Inn for those who need lodging.
More information can be found at https://kssoilhealth.org/event/central-kansas-soil-health-bus-tour. Questions can be directed to Jennifer Simmelink, Jennifer@KSsoilhealth.org, 785-545-5628.
— Kansas Soil Health Alliance