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Soil Biology and Soil Health within our Transition to Dryland in the Southern High Plains
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 Workshop Organizer

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Verónica Acosta-Martínez has been the soil microbiologist at USDA-ARS in Lubbock TX since 2001 and leads the national ARS Soil Biology Group. She studies how soil microbial communities and their processes change due to climate variability and rotations with other crops and forages along with conservative tillage for cotton systems in this region.


National Program Leader: Soil Biology

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Dave Knaebel is the ARS Soil Biology National Program Leader and an expert in microbial ecology and molecular biology.  At the Soil Health workshop, he will provide an overview of the national role of ARS in maintaining soil health, biodiversity and productivity.


Keynote Speakers

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Mike Lehman  is a soil microbiologist at USDA-ARS in Brookings, SD.  He studies the performance of no-till systems that involve crop rotations and cover crops, and evaluates assays that reflect meaningful influences of agricultural management practices on soil health. He currently assesses changes in soil health as grasslands are converted to row cropping.

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Lori Phillips is a soil microbial ecologist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.  Her research aims at developing ways to quantify the role of soil biology in enhancing soil health, generate knowledge of how different soil organisms support agricultural systems that are resilient to environmental and climate stress, and to provide information to farmers.


Panel Moderators:

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Chuck West is the Thornton Distinguished Chair in Plant and Soil Science at TTU.  He is currently analyzing the water use of forage crops and pastures as affected by grazing management to improve forage utilization by cattle, make efficient use of water to sustain profitable agriculture in the region.

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Kater Hake is the Vice-President of Agriculture & Environment Research at Cotton Inc. He is responsible for the cotton production research program and leads a team of eight scientists who develop and support innovative problem-solving research to increase profitability and sustainability of cotton farming in the U.S.

Local researchers from USDA-ARS, Texas Agri Life, and Texas Tech University will provide an overview of current research in soil biology, soil health and agronomy/alternative systems to manage our transition to dryland in the SHP.

Lumarie Pérez-Guzmán

Lindsey Slaughter

Katie Lewis

Steven Mauget

Scott Longing

Sukhbir Singh