Farm, Garden & Outdoors calendar published Dec. 31, 2022

Dec. 31—Tree open house: The Kandiyohi Soil and Water Conservation District will have a tree open house from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, at the Willmar office, 1005 High Ave NE. Place your tree order or create a tree plan for your property. If you place an order on or before Jan. 5, your name will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Runnings Gift Card.

Women in Ag Network Conference: Feb. 7, 8:30 to 3 p.m., Willmar Conference Center, $75, early bird through Jan. 16, $100 after, students $25, register at The theme this year is "Building Resilience on your Farm and in your Family," with keynote speaker Monica McConkey, three breakout tracks and closing panel discussion.

Farmland Rental: Rates are the largest input cost the farmer has. Determining a fair farm rent agreement is always challenging. Both in-person and webinar sessions will be held this year. Attendees will receive several informative worksheets and factsheets that will help to determine what a fair 2023 farmland rental rate is. The meetings set for this area are:

* Willmar webinar: Jan. 12, 9:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m., Zoom presentation

* Hutchinson webinar: Jan. 26, 9:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m., Zoom presentation

More information including location addresses and additional dates available at

Let's Talk Crops webinar series: This free, live, online program will provide up-to-date, research-based information to help optimize your crop management strategies for 2023. Sessions will be held over Zoom from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 11 through March 29. Sessions will begin with a brief presentation by the discussion leaders for the day, followed by discussion framed around farmer/participant questions on the topic. Register at

for the entire program series. Sessions will be recorded and posted for viewing later. The next three session are:

* Jan. 11: Forecast for the season — weather, economics & supply chains; Ed Usset, Extension grain marketing economist and Pete Boulay, assistant state climatologist, DNR.

* Jan. 18: What's bugging my corn? An outlook on corn rootworm and more; Anthony Hanson, Extension educator — IPM, and other IPM specialists.

* Jan. 25: Climate factors and nitrogen management; Dan Kaiser, Extension nutrient management specialist, and Brad Carlson, Extension educator — water resources.

Creating your own pollinator habitat: Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., free, pre-registration required, contact Tarah Young, or 218-384-3511. This three-part webinar series will cover how to create a pollinator-friendly garden on Jan. 31, a bee lawn on Feb. 1 and starting a pocket prairie on Feb. 2.

Gardening from the Ground Up: Feb. 20-24, 1 to 2:30 p.m., free, online; University of Minnesota Extension educators present the fourth annual webinar series. The free virtual workshops will focus on trees and shrubs in the home landscape. Webinars will cover topics ranging from tree establishment to proper pruning techniques, to tree pest management — all useful for any curious beginner gardener or yard owner. Recordings of the webinars will be sent out at the conclusion of the series.

Hawk Creek Watershed Project: 21st annual meeting will be from 9 a.m. to noon, Jan. 27, at the Renville Community Center. Presenters include Doug Lovander, one of the original founders of Pheasants Forever and a longtime resident of Eagle Lake, who will discuss how his lifetime of living on Eagle Lake and the changes and observations that motivated him to become a founding member of Pheasants Forever. Lee Ganske with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will talk about Minnesota water quality trends with a focus on Hawk Creek and the Minnesota River Basin. Heidi Rauenhorst, HCWP coordinator, will give an annual update of the HCWP, sharing best management practices projects, water quality monitoring, aquatic invasive species, and other activities the HCWP has accomplished in the last year. The full agenda is available at Lunch will follow the presentations for those who RSVP by Jan. 20 to 320-523-3666 or


Sibley State Park: A vehicle permit is required to enter the park and is available online or at the self-registration desk. Sibley State Park is west of New London just off U.S. Highway 71. The Interpretive Center is open Friday-Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 320-354-2055. For more information, visit the state Department of Natural Resources website at

. Cross-country ski and snowmobile trail conditions available at

* First day hike: Jan. 1, 10 to 11 a.m., at the Interpretive Center; hike the Pondview Interpretive Trail, a 0.7-mile loop with a maximum 7% grade for 190 feet; wear appropriate clothing for the weather.

* Luminary hike: Jan. 21, 5 to 7 p.m. Enjoy the evening on a self-guided, lantern lit hike on the Pondview Interpretive trail, a 0.7-mile loop with a maximum 7% grade for 190 feet; wear appropriate clothing for the weather. Before or after hiking, drop by the campfire at the amphitheater to socialize and warm up.

Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center: Phone number is 320-354-5894, office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Trails may be used during daylight hours at no cost. Check the website for trail conditions,

. A bathroom with composting toilets is open by the pavilion. Pets should be on a leash. Pre-registration required for all classes. All equipment rentals (fat-tire bikes, cross country skies, snowshoes and kicksleds) will be handled on a reservation basis, made at least 24 hours in advance. To reserve equipment for the weekend, please call by noon on Friday. Two-hour equipment rental is $20 for adults, $10 for members and $5 for all youth.