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Fourteenth Annual Southern Minnesota Organic Crops Day to be Held in Owatonna


By Claire LaCanne, UMN Extension
The fourteenth annual Southern Minnesota Organic Crops Day will be held Tuesday, March 26th at the Steele County Community Center, 1380 S. Elm Avenue in Owatonna. This program aims to provide current, transitioning, and future organic crop producers with additional tools and knowledge to help their operation succeed. Registration starts at 2:30 p.m. and the program begins at 3:00 p.m. Discussion with a panel of experienced organic farmers will follow the lineup of speakers and an all-organic supper.

This event offers a broad range of topics applicable to organic row crop production. Melissa Wilson, University of Minnesota Extension Manure Specialist, will discuss research updates regarding the use of manure as fertilizer in Minnesota. She will also provide time for discussion on what new research would be relevant for organic producers in Minnesota. Paulo Pagliari, University of Minnesota Extension Soil Specialist, will review nutrient management and present some of his latest research on nutrient management in an organic system.

Insect pest management is an issue on many Minnesota farmers’ minds, and can be more complex in organic production. Bob Koch, University of Minnesota Extension Entomologist, will discuss updates on insect pests and cover control options in an organic system. Small grains are often acknowledged for their benefits in organic rotations, but growing wheat, oats, or rye successfully in Minnesota can be a challenge. Jared Goplen, University of Minnesota Extension Crops Educator, will discuss considerations for fitting small grains into an organic rotation. Attendees will also learn about the marketing opportunities for small grains from the National Farmers Organization’s Organic Grain Field Representative, Mike Schulist.
                                               
This event is generously sponsored by Albert Lea Seed, Grain Millers, and Pipeline Foods (formerly SunOpta) in cooperation with University of Minnesota Extension. There is a cost of $15 at the door to help offset remaining program expenses, including an organic meal. Pre-registration is requested for a meal count, but walk-ins are welcome. For more information or to pre-register, contact Extension Educator Claire LaCanne at 507-444-7691 or lacanne@umn.edu.


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