SDSU Soil Judging Team earns second place in regional soil judging contest

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — The South Dakota State University Soil Judging Team earned second place in the 2016 Region 5 Collegiate Soil Judging Contest held Oct. 9-14. Hosted by the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Neb., the contest serves as the regional playoff for the national soil judging contest.

“Soil judging provides practical experience in evaluating the physical and chemical properties of soils important in making land-use decisions,” explains Doug Malo, SDSU Soil Judging Team coach and distinguished professor of pedology. “Soil-forming factors, site characteristics, soil classification, land-use interpretations and soil morphology are all key parts of the judging process.”

Region 5 is made up of universities from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Malo reports that only four points out of more than 3000 points separated the first and second-place teams. Kansas State University earned first place, SDSU finished second, and the University of Nebraska was third.

Individually, Galen Swanson, Pukwana, S.D., placed third, Samantha Croat, Rushmore, Minn., placed 14th, and Russell Hoffman, New Ulm, Minn., placed 31st out of 75 competitors. Other SDSU team members include Tucker Bowar, Faulkton, S.D., Jamie Chalcraft, Pierre, S.D., Seth Engen, Viborg, S.D., Scott Foxhoven, Wynot, Neb., Jacob Helget, New Ulm, Minn., Jordanne Howe, Redfield, S.D., Jonathon Schlechter, Faulkton, S.D., Andrew Steffl, Sleepy Eye, Minn., and Logan Zeisler, Renner, S.D.

The team is coached by Malo and Colin Tobin, graduate research assistant in the SDSU Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science Department.