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Professor to discuss environmental effects of manure in soil during 'Thursdays at the U'

| Linda Tollefsrud and Diane Walkoff

Dr. Natasha Macnack

Dr. Natasha Macnack (Photo credit: Portrait Innovations)

Animal manure production is estimated at more than a billion tons per year in the U.S. Livestock production and, more specifically, dairy farming, is significant to Wisconsin’s economy.

Manure produced by livestock benefits the soil by increasing organic matter and nutrient content. However, high amounts of applied manure also raise environmental concerns. Is manure, overall, a blessing to our soils, or is it more of a curse?

Dr. Natasha Macnack, assistant professor of soil science at UW-River Falls, will help answer that question and others during her Nov. 14 presentation, "Manure: Curse or Blessing to Our Soils?" for UW-Eau Claire – Barron County's "Thursdays at the U" event. The talk will be from noon-1 p.m. in the Blue Hills Lecture Hall (Room 234, Ritzinger Hall) on the Rice Lake campus.

Macnack will discuss the ways in which we can reduce the negative impacts of manure application and what the latest research says about the topic. Her own research focuses on improving the efficiency of nutrient uptake and the effects of organic soil amendments on soil health and crop yields.

Macnack holds a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from the Anton de Kom University of Suriname and master’s and doctoral degrees in soil science from Oklahoma State University. She has experience working in post-harvest quality control and production agriculture in Suriname.

Feel free to bring your lunch to enjoy as you listen to our speaker. The Riverside Café, located in the UW-Eau Claire – Barron County Student Center, is open from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Thursday during the academic year.

For more information about "Thursdays at the U," contact Dr. Linda Tollefsrud, professor emeritus of psychology, UW Colleges, at or 715-788-6216.