June 3, 2015

French & Australian scientists delve into Oliver County soil

By Annette Tait
Soil is of the utmost importance to Oliver County agriculture producers. But how did local soil management practices come to the attention of soil scientists from France and Australia?
Australian soil researcher Dr. Lisa Lobry de Bruyn and French agronomist Dr. Julie Ryschawy visited the Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory, Mandan, late last month as part of their research tours of the United States. While there, Oliver Soil Conservation District Advisory Board Member LeAnn Harner heard Lobry de Bruyn’s presentation, “Understanding Farmers’ Soil Sense and Monitoring Soil Health in Cropping Soils.”
One thing led to another, and the scientists were scheduled for a visit to learn more specifically about soil management in Oliver County. Accompanied by Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Quality Specialist Susan Liebig, the two scientists met with Oliver County producer Dave Porsborg on his farm south of Center.
Lobry de Bruyn and Ryschawy each had specific questions for Porsborg that related to their respective research. Lobry de Bruyn, senior lecturer at the School of Environmental & Rural Science, University of New England, New South Wales, Australia, is gathering information about practices relating to soil health, including monitoring land condition, soil testing, farm planning, and precision agriculture.


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