April’s Ag Advice

April's Ag Advice by April Borders Recently the Natural Resource Conservation Service finished compiling a new soils survey for Clay County and will be distributing the new soil survey books to residents of Clay County. The soil survey contains information that can be applied in managing farms, ranches and wildlife habitats as well as being used for site selection and suitability.

Great differences in soil properties can occur even within short distances. Soils may be seasonably wet or subject to flooding. They may be shallow to bedrock. They may be too unstable to be used as a foundation for building or roads. High clay or wet soils are poorly suited to septic tank absorption fields. A high water table makes a soil poorly suited to basements or underground installations.

These and many other soil properties that affect land use are described in this soil survey. We, as farmers and ranchers, can use this information to determine the potential of the soil and the management practices required for production. We can also use it to help us understand how to protect and enhance the environment when considering waste disposal and pollution controls.

In order to help people understand the survey and to better use this information, the Soils Conservation Service and the Extension Office will be offering a Soils Survey Workshop on Dec. 9 at the Clay County Extension Office. The program will start with registration at 10 a.m. and conclude at 1:30 p.m. There will be a lunch provided and all people attending will receive a copy of the new soil survey.

Speakers and topics for the program are:

Kent Cooley, area soil scientist, project leader, Rapid City � The making of the soil survey.

Bruce Kunze, area soil scientist, Brookings � How to use the soil survey.

Deron Ruesch, district conservationist, Vermillion � SCS programs offered and whole farm planning.

Martin Weeks, Clay County Conservation District Board member � Local conservation plans.

The soil survey is a detailed inventory and evaluation of the most basic resource that we have � the soil. This information is useful in adjusting land use, including urbanization, to the limitations and potentials of natural resources and the environment. It can also help avoid soil related failures in uses of the land. The soil survey can also be used in the conservation, development and productive use of soil, water and other resources.

We hope that you will take the time to attend this workshop and learn how to effectively use the soil survey to benefit you. For more information please contact the Soil Conservation District at 624-7030 ext. 3 or the Clay County Extension Office at 677-7111.

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