Soil health field days educate farmers on advanced practices

Soil health field days educate farmers on advanced practices

Soil Health Partnership is hosting a number of events in Iowa this summer.

Iowa farmers can learn from experts and peers on how to adopt farming practices to improve soil health at a series of field days this summer. Hosted by area farmers enrolled in the Soil Health Partnership, as well as other local organizations, the events highlight the economic and environmental benefits that come from improved soil health.

The Partnership, with the support of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, plans to host at least nine field days throughout the state, from July through September. Confirmed events include:

  • July 21: Sioux Rapids, Iowa
  • July 26: Waukon, Iowa
  • August 2: Washington, Iowa
  • August 16: Gilman, Iowa
  • Aug. 18: Algona, Iowa
  • Aug. 23: Rock Valley, Iowa
  • Aug. 25: Eagle Grove, Iowa
  • Aug. 29: West Liberty, Iowa
  • Sept. 2: Corning, Iowa
HEALTHY SOIL: Farmers participating in the Soil Health Program collect data with the help of SHP field managers and agronomists, evaluating practices like cover crops, nutrient management and conservation tillage. Economics are key to getting growers to change practices on the farm.

“Iowa has some of the richest, most productive farmland in the world. By implementing new practices, we can prevent nutrient loss and erosion, and improve soil structure,” says Elyssa McFarland, Soil Health Partnership field manager for Iowa. “Farmer-to-farmer learning in actual farm environments really tells the story of the difference adopting these practices can make. Our research through this project will quantify that over time as well.”

An initiative of the National Corn Growers Association, the Soil Health Partnership works closely with diverse organizations including commodity groups, federal agencies and well-known environmental groups toward common goals. The Partnership is in its third year with 65 partner farms across eight Midwestern states.

Featured topics at the field days may include:

  • Cover crop management and machinery set-up
  • Conservation tillage methods
  • Advanced nutrient management
  • A soil pit to observe cover crop root growth and soil properties
  • An update on water quality news

A list of currently planned events and registration can be found at SoilHealthPartnership.org. More events will be posted throughout the summer.

About the Soil Health Partnership: The Soil Health Partnership brings together diverse partner organizations including commodity groups, federal agencies, universities and environmental groups to work toward the common goal of improving soil health. Over a period of at least 10 years, the SHP will identify and test and measure farm management practices that improve soil health and benefit farmers.

“We believe the results of this farmer-led project will provide a platform for sharing peer-to-peer information, and lend resources to benefit agricultural sustainability and profitability,” says Ben Gleason, sustainable farming manager for the Iowa Corn Growers. An initiative of the National Corn Growers Association, the SHP provides the spark for greater understanding and implementation of agricultural best practices to protect resources for future generations. For more information visit soilhealthpartnership.org.

TAGS: Harvest
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