LaCreek Growing Solutions

2004 Annual Report for FNC04-542

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2004: $15,066.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $17,430.00
Region: North Central
State: South Dakota
Project Coordinator:

LaCreek Growing Solutions


From November 10 - 16, 2004 Lawrence and Gayle Kocer attended a Compost/Compost Tea Workshop hosted by Soil Food Web, Inc. in Corvallis, Oregon. The presenter was Dr. Elaine Ingham.

The funds were used for mileage from Martin to Corvallis and back and for Lawrence Kocer’s registration.

This was a tremendous workshop with emphasis on the importance of a healthy soil with the organisms needed for different crops and how you can build the compost to meet the needs of the soil and the crops being planted.

We learned different methods of composting and had the opportunity to visit farmers who were using compost and compost tea in their operations. We met with persons who were composting and brewing tea commercially for farmers in the area. This is where we got the information on what type of motors, etc. were needed for the sprayers.

During the year of 2005 the plan is to:
• Research and build or buy a 500 gal tea brewer
• Sample the soils during the summer months and determine what kind of compost will be needed.
• Start spraying the fields in the fall with the proper tea brew.

We have shared some of the information on the Soil Food Web through Badlands RC&D newsletter that goes into approximately 6,000 homes in the four county area of Bennett, Haakon, Jackson, and Shannon.

We will continue to share through the Badlands RC&D newsletter and then in the fall of 2006 we will have a farm tour of the projects fields.

Objectives/Performance Targets

To rebuild fragile soils of western South Dakota in a way that is cost effective and sustainable, the project proposes to produce and use compost tea which will be sprayed on various grain and forage crops on three different farms. The producers will be working with the state and local Extension specialists to take soil samples to assay: active bacteria, total bacteria, active fungi, total fungi, protozoa, nematodes and mycorrhizal colonization.