Sioux Falls and Watertown will be the sites of two Soil Health educational forums. SD's Soil Health Challenge: Don't Get Left in The Dust forums will take place on Dec. 9 at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Sioux Falls and Dec. 10 at the SDSU Extension Regional Center /Codington County 4-H Complex in Watertown.

The events will feature presentations from Jodi DeJong Hughes, from UMN Extension; Shannon Osborne, and Randy Anderson with USDA-ARS; and Dwayne Beck, Dakota Lakes Research Farm Manager and Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist. These presenters will provide information on soil organic matter, weeds, cover crops and wet soils.

Each event will also feature a panel of farmers who will share some tips on what has, and what has not, worked on their farms.

"We cannot under estimate the value of our soil and the role it will play in our ability to continue to produce an abundance of healthy food," said Ruth Beck, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist.

She added that these forums are in response to grower feedback following the Soil Health Info Day SDSU Extension hosted last winter in Mitchell.

"This led us to believe that people are really interested in learning more about soil health and so we are expanding the effort this year. It is our hope that people will come to these events and find value in them," Beck said.

Registration information

SD's Soil Health Challenge: Don't Get Left in The Dust forums will begin with registration at 8:45 a.m. and will run until 3:30 p.m. Both events include a free lunch. The forums are free to attend, however registration is requested.

To register for the Sioux Falls event call 605-782-3290; to register for the Watertown event call 605-783-3642 ext 4. More information can be found at iGrow.org or http://www.sdnotill.com/. CCA credits are available at both events.

Mark your calendars for two additional events planned in Belle Fourche Jan. 16 and Mitchell Feb. 13, 2014. More details on these events will be sent out at a later date.

These meetings are being produced and sponsored by SDSU Extension, The South Dakota No Till Association and USDA-NRCS. Strong support for these meetings also comes from local conservation districts, SARE-SD and private industry.