June 2012 //
Vol. 30 // No. 1
Jun 17, 2012
Photo courtesy of GYPSOIL
// SAVE THE DATE //
Midwest Soil Improvement Symposium Aug. 21
CTIC and GYPSOIL team up with Rulon Enterprises to share research and experience
On Aug. 21, Rulon Enterprises near Arcadia, Ind., will host a symposium focused on improving soil quality and productivity.
USDA and university scientists, leading producers and prominent crop consultants will present their research and insights at the second annual Midwest Soil Improvement Symposium: "Research and Practical Insights into Using Gypsum."
GYPSOIL, a leading provider of agricultural gypsum, joins the Conservation Technology Information Center and Rulon Enterprises as event sponsors. These partners designed the symposium to engage certified crop consultants, university and extension personnel, farm managers, farm producers and others interested in soil science. Organizers offer continuing education credits for certified crop advisors.
A HISTORY OF SUCCESS
Rulon Enterprises' notable history spans four generations of family farming. Now owned by Ken, Roy, and Rodney Rulon, the farm functions on the same sustainability principles that it did in 1869.
"As continuous no-tillers, we aim to improve soil quality and health. With gypsum we improve soil structure and provide needed plant nutrients," comments Rodney Rulon.
The Rulons began applying gypsum to "problem fields" that contained particularly tight soils prone to prolonged wetness, explains Rulon. After observing increased water infiltration and better rooting, the Rulons expanded their use of gypsum across much of their 5,800-acre operation. They apply a base rate of a ton of gypsum per acre every other year and higher rates on their tightest soils.
Rulon Enterprises' successful operation received the 2012 American Soybean Association Conservation Legacy Award.
THE TRADITION CONTINUES
Gypsum application is an important measure for improving nutrient-deficient soil. Photo courtesy of GYPSOIL.Last year's Midwest Soil Improvement Symposium at the University of Wisconsin Arlington Agricultural Research Station attracted 200 participants. This year's on-farm venue will allow participants to view demonstrations of improved soil management and gypsum application techniques, in-depth presentations on research findings and producer and consultant panel discussions.
"We're excited to co-host this year's symposium," remarks Karen Scanlon, executive director of CITC and moderator for the event. "Sharing new research and producer experience on sustainable technology is our mission."
Confirmed speakers include:
- Dr. Warren Dick, professor, Environmental and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University, Wooster, Ohio, will discuss gypsum's benefits to crop productivity;
- Dr. Fabian Fernandez, researcher and assistant professor of Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Ill., will discuss field studies assessing sulfur deficiency and supplementation strategies, including gypsum additives;
- Dr. Darrell Norton, noted soil scientist recently retired from the National Soil Erosion Research Lab, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, West Lafayette, Ind., will discuss gypsum's impact on the environment;
- Dr. Rufus Chaney, research agronomist, Environmental Management and Byproduct Utilization Laboratory, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, Md., will deliver a webinar describing risk assessment for beneficial use of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum;
- Dr. Jerry Bigham, retired professor of Environmental and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University, Wooster, Ohio, will discuss how gypsum applications change soil properties.
- Martin Shipitalo, soil scientist, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Ames, Iowa, will address how earthworms affect and indicate soil quality;
- Ron Chamberlain, director of gypsum programs for Beneficial Reuse Management, marketer of GYPSOIL brand gypsum, will discuss gypsum production and gypsum application recommendations;
- Grower panelists include Rodney Rulon; Jack Maloney, Brownsburg, Ind., Cameron Mills, Walton, Ind.; and others.
- Consultant panelists include Joe Nester, owner/consultant, Nester Ag; Bryan, Ohio; Daryl Starr, Advanced Ag Solutions, Lafayette, Ind.; and others.
"I think every person involved in crop production will be able to take something valuable away from this year's symposium," remarks Ron Chamberlain, GYPSOIL chief agronomist.
The symposium will be held at Rulon Enterprises, 10701 East 281st Street, Arcadia, Ind. 46030. Register onsite from 7-8 a.m. Sessions will run from 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. The cost of the symposium is $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Lunch is included. For more information or to register in advance, visit www.gypsoil.com/symposium or call 563-320-2247.