Soil biology mini-course to be held at OSU on Nov. 17-18


CORVALLIS - Oregon State University will host a two-day mini-course on soil biology Nov. 17-18 at LaSells Stewart Center. The course will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and registration is limited.

The course is aimed at agricultural professionals, including growers, Extension agents, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Soil and Water Conservation District field staff, and agricultural supply and food processing field representatives.

This mini-course will focus on increasing understanding of key ecological processes within farming systems, and will introduce key groups of soil organisms along with discussion of their function, biology and importance to agriculture. The course will also examine impacts of farming practices on soil biota, soil quality and productivity.

Both laboratory and lecture learning formats will be a part of this educational program. Session topics include: nematodes, earthworms, soil food web, conservation tillage, fungi, soil arthropods, cover cropping systems, soil microbial communities, soil predators, and measurement and interpretation of soil biological parameters.

Course instructors include Kate Scow, University of California-Davis; Howard Ferris, UC-Davis; Ariena VanBruggen, UC-Davis; Joann Whalen, Agriculture Canada; Peter Kenagy, Kenagy Family Farms; Jim LaBonte, Oregon Department of Agriculture; Don Reicosky, U.S. Department of Agriculture-ARS Minnesota, Paul Schreiner USDA-ARS Corvallis; and John Luna, Andy Moldenke, Richard Dick, Russ Ingham, Paul Jepson, Joann Sandeno, and Mary Schutter of OSU.

Registration fee for the workshop is $150 for two days, or $85 for one day, which includes breaks and catered lunches. Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) and Private Pesticide Applicator (PPA) credits have been applied for.

Course program and registration information is available at or by contacting Grace Reid, 541-747-3695, reidg@bcc.orst.edu, 4017 ALS, Department of Horticulture, OSU, Corvallis, OR 97331. For program content questions contact John Luna, 541-737-5430, email; lunaj@bcc.orst.edu or Mary Staben, email; stabenm@bcc.orst.edu.

This workshop is sponsored by the Oregon State University Extension Service and the USDA Western Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.