Soil Health Hinges on Farmers

Cindy ZimmermanAudio, Conservation, Corn, NCGA, Soil

shps15-farmersThe first year of the Soil Health Partnership (SHP) enrolled 20 farmers in six states to be demonstration sites for the effort and by the end of five years they expect to have 100. These farmers have agreed to basically be the “guinea pigs” to help other farmers learn from their experiments and innovations.

One of those farmers is Tim Smith of Iowa who says he was anxious to be involved in the initiative from the first time he heard about it.

shps15-smith“I can see the soil conservation benefits and I can see the nutrient reduction benefits, but I think the soil health benefits are what’s going to help sell it to other farmers,” said Smith, who was one of the demonstration farmers on a panel at the Soil Health Summit in St. Louis this week.

Smith believes that improving soil health is critical and just the right thing to do. “In the last 150 our average top soil (in Iowa) has gone from 14 inches down to eight inches,” he said. “We can’t continue that because it will run out if we don’t start taking care of it … any soil loss is not tolerable.”

Smith’s conservation efforts earned him the first National Corn Growers Association Good Steward award presented at last year’s Commodity Classic.

Listen to my interview with Tim here: [wpaudio url=”″ text=”Interview with Tim Smith, SHP farmer from Iowa”]

2015 Soil Health Summit Photo Album