By Mary Howell
The tour will include plantings of eastern gamagrass-based prairies with mycorrhizal inoculation, soil pits in gamagrass pasture, subsurface drip irrigated pastures, cover crop grazing, sequential grazing systems, double crop sunflowers with under-seeded cover crops, grazing grain crops, and the new Star Seed warehouse and seed processing facility. Planned tour stops include the farms of Dale Strickler, Ryan Calgren, Charlie Smies, Chad Simmelink, and Robin and Kelly Griffeth.
When asked why producers should attend, Dale Strickler, President of the Kansas Graziers Association and Star Seed Representative said, “So many people have the mistaken impression that soil improvement can only be achieved with economic sacrifice, and therefore most never attempt it because they feel they can’t afford it. The farms on this tour demonstrate techniques that both improve soil AND the bottom line. The talks on Friday will focus primarily on ideas and the “big picture”, while the bus tour will focus on actual practices in place that increase soil carbon and improve drought tolerance, but just as importantly are profitable practices in their own right. After having visited these farms myself, I can promise anyone with an interest in agriculture, or the future of our planet in general, that they will be glad they took this trip.”
Lunch will be in Courtland and a barbecue picnic at Lake Wilson will cap off the day prior to the bus returning to Salina.