BOURBON – Kosciusko County farmers are on a health kick.

“Soil Health” will be the theme of a multi-county workshop Thursday at the Back Forty Banquet Center near Bourbon from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Ray Arculeta, NRCS National Soil Health agronomist, and Barry Fisher, Indiana NRCS State agronomist, will describe how tillage planting systems and other farm management practices affect soil health and production.

A panel discussion will feature local farmers who have improved soil health and productivity by using innovative and effective conservation practices on their farms.

CEU credits for Certified Crop Advisors have been applied for.

Fred Whitford, coordinator of the Purdue Pesticide Program, will discuss “Mixing Pesticides When an Ounce is not an Ounce”. This session will qualify for Private Applicator credit.

Registration cost for the workshop is $15 and pre-registration is strongly recommended by calling the SWCD/NRCS office at 574-267-7445, Ext. 3.

This workshop will include a lunch and a packet of resource materials.

Soil health is the capacity of a soil to function. Soil health is soil managed to its maximum potential through a system of conservation practices, including never-till, cover crops, advanced nutrient and pest management, and buffers and drainage systems where appropriate.

This approach results in healthy soil that reduces erosion, requires less nutrient inputs, manages the effects of flood and drought, and reduces nutrient and sediment loading to streams and rivers.

Indiana success with this approach, being promoted through the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative is getting national attention and will be a focus of the Natural Resources Conservation Service this year.

Several publications have been developed for the “Soil Health” campaign, available on the Indiana NRCS website under the News tab at www.in.nrcs.usda.gov/news/publications.htm