The Fort Hays State University Ag department welcomed Dale Younker, a National Research Conservation Specialist, to speak about soil conservation in the crops division at the farm on Wednesday. Dr. Haffner’s Crop Science class is currently focusing on soil conservation.
“Dale has a ton of information on soil conservation and crops that is really important to our class,” Haffner said.
The NRCS is a branch under the U.S. Department of Agriculture that focuses on conservation practices with farmers across the world. Younker has worked with the NRCS for 33 years and has been in the soil conservation position for seven years. He had several demonstrations to show the ag students how water, wind, and tillage practices affect the soil.
“I focus on how we can make our soils more productive and sustainable for our crop production,” Younker said.
Younker first demonstrated how soil can be affected by tillage practices. The amount of tillage can affect the way that the soil can either be carried away or stay in place when it rains. He also brought a rain simulator with four different field plots; CRP plot, crop plot, wheat stubble plot, and a tilled plot.
The rain simulator showed how much run off each plot produced and how much water went straight through the plot. The last demonstration he had was how the wind affected the soil with tillage practices.
“Younker provided a lot of important and useful information to the class, and his demonstrations really helped them understand,” Haffner said.
The ag program at Fort Hays State brings in people from all over to help bring a better understanding to their classes. Younker was a great asset and helped Dr. Haffner’s class get a better understanding of their current studies.
The next speaker scheduled for the Ag department is Dr. Douglas Hurt, author of the textbook for American Agriculture History. Hurt has been selected to receive an Alumni award this year from FHSU. He will be conducting a question and answer zoom session at 3 p.m. Sept. 30. He will be discussing the history of agriculture at Fort Hays and across the world.