Midwestern farmers interested in adopting innovative practices to improve the health of their soil have many learning opportunities this summer. The Soil Health partnership is hosting more than 30 field days across nine states through September. Nick Goeser, director of the Soil Health Partnership, says the field days are a chance for farmers to learn soil health practices from other farmers.
“Field days themselves as geared as farmer engagement events, farmers talking to other farmers, talking to local experts to learn more about conservation practices such as cover crops, changes in tillage, changes in nutrient management, how they interact with crop productivity, and economics and environmental responses as well. They’re trying to figure out what works locally and how to share that information so that farmers don’t run into large barriers in conservation practice adoption.”
“What are some of the feeding methods? What are termination guidelines for terminating the cover crop in the spring? What are some of the species mixtures? What are some of the economics involved in it? What are the costs to feed the cover crops? Other field days might focus on strip till or no till, so what are the implications on specific soil types in that geography or how to make strip till work in that geography. Initially we might talk about nutrient management.”
The initiative by the National Corn Growers Association and other collaborators helps farmers continually improve. Goeser is also the NCGA Director of Soil Health and Sustainability.
In addition to the field days, farmers can learn more about soil health practices online where the Soil Health Partnership website serves as a portal to learning about soil health practices. The website is www.soilhealthpartnership.org.
In Indiana many events are planning through the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative. Their calendar of events is at http://ccsin.iaswcd.org/events/.