Soil Judging Contest

Today, on this very rainy day, more than 100 high school FFA students are gathering here for a soil judging contest.  There are many teams from all over SW Indiana competing today.  There have been 4 sites  prepared with the backhoe; the students will climb down into the 3 to 4 foot deep trenches to view the soil profiles.  Then they will apply what they’ve learned to evaluate the properties of the soil.  They will estimate the inherent productive capability of each location.  They also can determine if the soil at that location is appropriate for a home site.

Harvest is stopped again, and it may be Saturday before we can return.  It was going well;  we were bringing in the grain from near Wheatland, Indiana on the Newman and Steen farms.  The moisture level has improved, down to a range of 14.5 to 16%, and it can go directly into storage.  We are happy about that.  Maybe we can return to harvest by Saturday.

This morning I dumped out 1.2 inches of rain.  And it’s still raining.  Those poor kids, out there in the rain, but they seem unfazed by it.

The school buses, vans, and other vehicles brought in students from all over southwest Indiana

The sponsors of the event sign in the students and score their results

The students wait in the back barn, out of the rain, until the starting time of the actual competition

Here are some students down in one of the soil pits, doing their evaluations, others outside the pit measure the slope of the site.

….and the winner of the contest was Gibson Southern FFA Team 1, with Advisor Mr. Richard Ritter.

Special thanks to Dr. Darrell Schulze, Purdue Professor of Soil Science, and Rex Decker, local specialist from the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).  Purdue’s Agronomy Department also has a hand in providing these student opportunities.

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