Soil society modifies its Aug. 12 summer tour

Bus tour replaced with self-guided tour that requires registration

The Manitoba Soil Science Society (MSSS) has replaced its annual summer bus tour with an event Aug. 12 at three sites in rural Manitoba participants get to themselves, MSSS president Megan Westphal said in a recent email.

The sites are near Elm Creek (Red River Clay), Haywood (Almasippi) and Bruxelles (Dezwood).

Participation is free, however, people must register ahead of time, make arrangements for their own lunch and let organizers know when they intend to arrive at the first site.

For $50 eight people — four at the Red River Clay site and four at the Almasippi site —  can extract their own full-scale soil monolith, which is about four feet by one foot. The spots have to be pre-booked and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

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“The monolith extraction is a very unique opportunity as not many people in Manitoba know the whole process and buying monoliths can be quite expensive,” Westphal wrote. “Instructions on finishing your monolith will be provided virtually in the fall by MSSS.”

Instructors will be at the sites from 9 a.m. to – 3 p.m.

  • Red River Clay site: Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development (MARD) officials Marla Riekman, soil management specialist, Michelle Erb, land use specialist and Timi Ojo, agricultural meteorologist will discuss crop modelling and weather instrumentation.
  • Almasippi Sand site: MARD officials John Heard, soil fertility specialist, Megan Westphal, soil survey specialist and University of Manitoba soil science professor, Mario Tenuta will discuss 4R canola nitrogen management research, monitoring greenhouse gases and in-season crop measurements using green seekers and crop circles.
  • Dezwood Loam site: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada agronomist Curtis Cavers and MARD soil specialist Diane Smith will discuss soil management through landscape restoration, including moving soil from field depressions to the top of knolls.

To register email [email protected] with an intended time of arrival at the first site. Those wanting to build a soil monolith must indicate their preferred site.

Directions will be emailed after registration.

Participants must self-screen prior to the event according to provincial COVID guidelines at the Manitoba Shared Health website.

Participants are eligible for Certified Crop Adviser credits — 3.5 for soil and water and 0.5 for nutrient management.

About the author

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Allan Dawson

Allan Dawson is a reporter with the Manitoba Co-operator based near Miami, Man. Covering agriculture since 1980, Dawson has spent most of his career with the Co-operator except for several years with Farmers’ Independent Weekly and before that a Morden-Winkler area radio station.

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