Better cotton starts with better soil. Growers can learn how to improve what’s underfoot at a joint meeting with Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton and the Arkansas Soil Health Alliance on Feb. 25 in McGehee.

The meeting, held at Hoots BBQ, 2008 U.S. 65, opens at 8:30 a.m. and runs through 3 p.m. Attendance is free, but attendees are asked to register for the event by calling Debbie Moreland at 501-425-2891. While geared toward cotton producers, all farmers are invited to attend. Lunch will be provided.

“Soil is more than just an anchor for plants,” Matt Fryer, extension soil health instructor for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said. “It’s a matrix that provides nutrients and water, all supported by a complex system of microbes, fungi and soil organisms such as earthworms.

“Maintaining the health of this system is key to growing healthy and sustainable crops,” he said.

The joint meeting will include a farmer panel, lunch speaker and on-farm tour will help cotton growers evaluate and improve the impact of strong soil health management systems.“Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton” is supported through the generosity of the Wrangler brand, the VF Corporation Foundation, and the Walmart Foundation. The integrated Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton and Arkansas Soil Health Alliance Annual Meeting has been created by the Arkansas Soil Health Alliance.

To learn more about soil health, contact Matt Fryer at mfryer@uaex.edu or 501-671-2176. To learn more about Arkansas row crop production, call your county extension office or visit www.uaex.edu. Follow the Cooperative Extension Service on Twitter at @UAEX_edu.

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