Soil Health Partnership is hosting field days to promote soil health in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. A dozen more of these events are scheduled for Ohio and Nebraska as well, with demonstrations of how practices like cover crops benefits farmers and the environment.
Don Elsbern recently hosted a tour of his farm near Postsville, Iowa. He shared with growers the management practices he has implemented for soil health. “Healthy soils help reduce soil erosion and allow us to more efficiently use our water and applied nutrients,” said Elsbernd.
Another field day in Indiana gathered a group of more than 100 farmers interested in cover crops. Organizers estimate more than 1 million acres were represented at the event. Field managers Hans Kok and Dan Towery say the project’s mission is to catalyze sustainability and productivity by sharing the economic and environmental benefits to soil health.
“We stressed the benefits of cover crops to improve soil health, selecting appropriate cover crops, and establishment and termination timing,” Kok said. “Farmers engaged in a lively discussion, sharing their cover crop experiences with each other.”
Field days were also held Monday (Aug. 17) at two farms, one hosted by David, Joe and Chase Brown in Decatur, Ill., and one by Leon Corzine in Assumption, Ill. The next ones are scheduled for Aug. 25 in Gilman, Iowa and Aug. 26 in Bloomington, Ill.
Although each field day concentrates on similar subject matter, the geography and local soil types guide the discussions. This gives testament to the diverse approach the Partnership takes in defining soil health.
An initiative of the National Corn Growers Association, the SHP works closely with diverse organizations including commodity groups, industry, foundations, federal agencies, universities and well-known environmental groups toward the common goal of improving soil health.
You can see a list of Soil Health Field Days at soilhealthpartnership.org. Events will be scheduled throughout the summer.