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Soil Health Partnership - SoilSmart

Soil Health Partnership - SoilSmart

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Soil Health Partnership - SoilSmart

Soil Health Partnership - SoilSmart

Soil Health Partnership - SoilSmart

1
Followers
2
Plays
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Podcast by Soil Health Partnership - SoilSmart

Latest Episodes

Committing to no-till farming: “Trying doesn’t get the job done.”

By the time his corn crop would normally be chest-high, Brian Roemke’s farm was less than 10 percent planted. That’s the most-repeated story across the Corn Belt for the 2019 planting season, but for Roemke, it’s an opportunity. “When you’re given lemons, you make lemonade,” he said. Roemke recalls the 2015 planting season when he and his family had 1,500 prevented-plant acres. “That gave us the opportunity to really get into cover crops,” said Roemke. It was the year after they had first tried them. An agronomist has been tracking improvements in Roemke’s soils for the last 18 seasons. Since 2014, when they began earnest use of cover crops, something significant showed up their soil profile: organic matter was increasing by one-tenth of a percent per year. “Over a decade we can gain a full percentage point of organic matter,” he said. “That’s living soil.” No-till farming has been a regular part of the Roemke farm since about 2000 when they made a commitment to the practice. “We had toyed with the idea for many years prior,” confessed Roemke. “That’s where we learned trying just doesn’t get the job done.”

13 MIN2019 JUN 21
Comments
Committing to no-till farming: “Trying doesn’t get the job done.”

McDonald’s sees value in Soil Health Partnership sustainability work

McDonald’s customers increasingly expect the restaurant chain to share their values. “We have a responsibility in society,” says Townsend Bailey, McDonald’s sustainability director, adding that McDonald’s is committed to using its scale for good. In doing that, says Townsend, they have something in common with the Soil Health Partnership. “The Soil Health Partnership is doing a great job of bringing together people in collaboration,” says Bailey, “basing their work in real data as well and figuring out, ‘how do we support the people that are taking care of that soil.’”

6 MIN2019 MAY 8
Comments
McDonald’s sees value in Soil Health Partnership sustainability work

Soil Health Partnership, Pheasants Forever goals mesh

Chad Bloom with Pheasants Forever believes in the mission of the Soil Health Partnership. “Pheasants Forever is an implementer,” explains Bloom, “and when all this science comes out, we can partner with the farmer to deliver habitat as a solution to [Soil Health Partnership] goals.” Pheasants Forever tries to deliver conservation goals as outlined by the farmer, according to Bloom, who says the organization is capitalizing on relationships with entities such as USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. “We don’t have an agenda out there,” said Bloom, “it’s simply taking the goals that these farmers have, applying a solution to them and putting it on the ground for their benefit.”

6 MIN2019 APR 24
Comments
Soil Health Partnership, Pheasants Forever goals mesh

Policies, commitment keep soil health a focus

“The biggest asset a grower has is the land that he farms,” says Nathan Fields, vice president of production and sustainability at the National Corn Growers Association. From the Farm Bill Conservation Title to collaborative efforts among diverse groups and individuals, Fields supports anything that results in improved soil health. “Making sure that we’re taking care of that resource in the context of conservation measures has been something that growers have been engaged in for a long time,” he says, adding that commitment to soil health needs to continue. “Now,” he says, “we’re really beginning to understand a lot more of what those long-term benefits are.”

5 MIN2019 APR 12
Comments
Policies, commitment keep soil health a focus

Iowa farm couple are SHP Exceptional Educators

John and Joan Maxwell of Cinnamon Ridge Farm are the Soil Health Partnership Exceptional Educator Award winners. Through tours of their farm, at Donahue, Iowa, the Maxwells tell the agriculture story to everyone from local kindergarten students to international visitors. Since the first tour they conducted, hosting their daughter’s pre-school class, they’ve shared how a successful dairy and row crop farm can sustainably feed the growing population while caring for the land. “Any way we can connect with food and agriculture,” said John Maxwell, “we’re trying to do it.” Advocates for the Soil Health Partnership, the Maxwells have been featured in print, television and radio news stories.

6 MIN2019 MAR 30
Comments
Iowa farm couple are SHP Exceptional Educators

SHP award winner calls cover crops ‘a life saver’ for grazing

Brian Martin advocates for the use of cover crops for improving soil health. The Centralia, Missouri, corn, soybean, small grain and cattle producer talks about the challenges of chemical control and the effects of herbicide carryover on cover crops. Martin, the Data Dominator winner at the Soil Health Summit, uses different approaches to cover crops depending on whether they’re incorporated in row crops to prevent erosion, or whether they’re planted to supplement cattle grazing. “It was a life saver,” said Martin, referring to how cover crops helped during a dry summer. “We actually wet-wrapped a lot of cereal rye and then followed that up with another forage type. It can provide a year-round grazing solution when there’s no other options.”

5 MIN2019 MAR 14
Comments
SHP award winner calls cover crops ‘a life saver’ for grazing

SHP members seeing soil health improvements

Participants in the Soil Health Partnership (SHP) are seeing improved organic matter and “a general uplift in their soil health” as a result of being in the program, according to Dr. Shefali Mehta, executive director of the SHP. The partnership is generating valuable data from farmers who are using sustainable farming practices in order to improve the health of their soil, said Dr. Mehta. “We are moving out of that start-up mode,” said Dr. Mehta, “to a much more stable, established program.” The goal of the program, she said, is to support farmer members of the SHP to be sure they come out of the program “in a much better place.” “How can we be more effective with soil health,” Mehta said, “in a way that’s economically viable for our farmers?”

9 MIN2019 MAR 6
Comments
SHP members seeing soil health improvements

Sustainable farming practices prevent soil erosion, improve soil health

Since he began to farm while in high school, Greg Thoren has worked to keep soil in place. “Erosion is a very large factor. [There are] a lot of waterways, a lot of conservation practices that have gone in place in our county,” said Thoren, describing Jo Daviess County in the hilly northwest corner of Illinois. “By no means we’re ‘flat and black,’” he said. But the practices that help secure his soil improve his land in other ways. “Trying to prevent the erosion aspects of what we’re doing in our fields,” he said, “benefit us in so many different ways.”

8 MIN2019 FEB 15
Comments
Sustainable farming practices prevent soil erosion, improve soil health

The Nature Conservancy: Bridging the gap between landowners, farmers, and soil health

The Nature Conservancy helped found and continues to be a major partner of the Soil Health Partnership for a variety of reasons. At the top is that it supports TNC’s vision of “a future world in which both nature and people thrive,” according to Pipa Elias, the soil health strategy manager for TNC. “Soil health is really beneficial for farmers,” said Elias. “We really wouldn’t be interested in it if it wasn’t beneficial for the farmers themselves.” In this episode, find out how recent research lends insight into bridging the gap between landowners, farmers, and soil.

8 MIN2019 FEB 2
Comments
The Nature Conservancy: Bridging the gap between landowners, farmers, and soil health

Early SHP cover crop data shows no yield drag, increase in organic matter

Insights from data collected by the Soil Health Partnership (SHP) shows that cover crops do not result in a yield drag. “I think farmers are concerned that when they adopt a cover crop that they’re going to see a yield drag,” said Dr. Maria Bowman, lead scientist for the Soil Health Partnership, “and the fact that our data show that there is no statistically significant yield drag, I think, is really important.” Other early data indicate that farmers participating in SHP are measurably improving their soil organic matter during their first few years in the program.

6 MIN2019 JAN 18
Comments
Early SHP cover crop data shows no yield drag, increase in organic matter

Latest Episodes

Committing to no-till farming: “Trying doesn’t get the job done.”

By the time his corn crop would normally be chest-high, Brian Roemke’s farm was less than 10 percent planted. That’s the most-repeated story across the Corn Belt for the 2019 planting season, but for Roemke, it’s an opportunity. “When you’re given lemons, you make lemonade,” he said. Roemke recalls the 2015 planting season when he and his family had 1,500 prevented-plant acres. “That gave us the opportunity to really get into cover crops,” said Roemke. It was the year after they had first tried them. An agronomist has been tracking improvements in Roemke’s soils for the last 18 seasons. Since 2014, when they began earnest use of cover crops, something significant showed up their soil profile: organic matter was increasing by one-tenth of a percent per year. “Over a decade we can gain a full percentage point of organic matter,” he said. “That’s living soil.” No-till farming has been a regular part of the Roemke farm since about 2000 when they made a commitment to the practice. “We had toyed with the idea for many years prior,” confessed Roemke. “That’s where we learned trying just doesn’t get the job done.”

13 MIN2019 JUN 21
Comments
Committing to no-till farming: “Trying doesn’t get the job done.”

McDonald’s sees value in Soil Health Partnership sustainability work

McDonald’s customers increasingly expect the restaurant chain to share their values. “We have a responsibility in society,” says Townsend Bailey, McDonald’s sustainability director, adding that McDonald’s is committed to using its scale for good. In doing that, says Townsend, they have something in common with the Soil Health Partnership. “The Soil Health Partnership is doing a great job of bringing together people in collaboration,” says Bailey, “basing their work in real data as well and figuring out, ‘how do we support the people that are taking care of that soil.’”

6 MIN2019 MAY 8
Comments
McDonald’s sees value in Soil Health Partnership sustainability work

Soil Health Partnership, Pheasants Forever goals mesh

Chad Bloom with Pheasants Forever believes in the mission of the Soil Health Partnership. “Pheasants Forever is an implementer,” explains Bloom, “and when all this science comes out, we can partner with the farmer to deliver habitat as a solution to [Soil Health Partnership] goals.” Pheasants Forever tries to deliver conservation goals as outlined by the farmer, according to Bloom, who says the organization is capitalizing on relationships with entities such as USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. “We don’t have an agenda out there,” said Bloom, “it’s simply taking the goals that these farmers have, applying a solution to them and putting it on the ground for their benefit.”

6 MIN2019 APR 24
Comments
Soil Health Partnership, Pheasants Forever goals mesh

Policies, commitment keep soil health a focus

“The biggest asset a grower has is the land that he farms,” says Nathan Fields, vice president of production and sustainability at the National Corn Growers Association. From the Farm Bill Conservation Title to collaborative efforts among diverse groups and individuals, Fields supports anything that results in improved soil health. “Making sure that we’re taking care of that resource in the context of conservation measures has been something that growers have been engaged in for a long time,” he says, adding that commitment to soil health needs to continue. “Now,” he says, “we’re really beginning to understand a lot more of what those long-term benefits are.”

5 MIN2019 APR 12
Comments
Policies, commitment keep soil health a focus

Iowa farm couple are SHP Exceptional Educators

John and Joan Maxwell of Cinnamon Ridge Farm are the Soil Health Partnership Exceptional Educator Award winners. Through tours of their farm, at Donahue, Iowa, the Maxwells tell the agriculture story to everyone from local kindergarten students to international visitors. Since the first tour they conducted, hosting their daughter’s pre-school class, they’ve shared how a successful dairy and row crop farm can sustainably feed the growing population while caring for the land. “Any way we can connect with food and agriculture,” said John Maxwell, “we’re trying to do it.” Advocates for the Soil Health Partnership, the Maxwells have been featured in print, television and radio news stories.

6 MIN2019 MAR 30
Comments
Iowa farm couple are SHP Exceptional Educators

SHP award winner calls cover crops ‘a life saver’ for grazing

Brian Martin advocates for the use of cover crops for improving soil health. The Centralia, Missouri, corn, soybean, small grain and cattle producer talks about the challenges of chemical control and the effects of herbicide carryover on cover crops. Martin, the Data Dominator winner at the Soil Health Summit, uses different approaches to cover crops depending on whether they’re incorporated in row crops to prevent erosion, or whether they’re planted to supplement cattle grazing. “It was a life saver,” said Martin, referring to how cover crops helped during a dry summer. “We actually wet-wrapped a lot of cereal rye and then followed that up with another forage type. It can provide a year-round grazing solution when there’s no other options.”

5 MIN2019 MAR 14
Comments
SHP award winner calls cover crops ‘a life saver’ for grazing

SHP members seeing soil health improvements

Participants in the Soil Health Partnership (SHP) are seeing improved organic matter and “a general uplift in their soil health” as a result of being in the program, according to Dr. Shefali Mehta, executive director of the SHP. The partnership is generating valuable data from farmers who are using sustainable farming practices in order to improve the health of their soil, said Dr. Mehta. “We are moving out of that start-up mode,” said Dr. Mehta, “to a much more stable, established program.” The goal of the program, she said, is to support farmer members of the SHP to be sure they come out of the program “in a much better place.” “How can we be more effective with soil health,” Mehta said, “in a way that’s economically viable for our farmers?”

9 MIN2019 MAR 6
Comments
SHP members seeing soil health improvements

Sustainable farming practices prevent soil erosion, improve soil health

Since he began to farm while in high school, Greg Thoren has worked to keep soil in place. “Erosion is a very large factor. [There are] a lot of waterways, a lot of conservation practices that have gone in place in our county,” said Thoren, describing Jo Daviess County in the hilly northwest corner of Illinois. “By no means we’re ‘flat and black,’” he said. But the practices that help secure his soil improve his land in other ways. “Trying to prevent the erosion aspects of what we’re doing in our fields,” he said, “benefit us in so many different ways.”

8 MIN2019 FEB 15
Comments
Sustainable farming practices prevent soil erosion, improve soil health

The Nature Conservancy: Bridging the gap between landowners, farmers, and soil health

The Nature Conservancy helped found and continues to be a major partner of the Soil Health Partnership for a variety of reasons. At the top is that it supports TNC’s vision of “a future world in which both nature and people thrive,” according to Pipa Elias, the soil health strategy manager for TNC. “Soil health is really beneficial for farmers,” said Elias. “We really wouldn’t be interested in it if it wasn’t beneficial for the farmers themselves.” In this episode, find out how recent research lends insight into bridging the gap between landowners, farmers, and soil.

8 MIN2019 FEB 2
Comments
The Nature Conservancy: Bridging the gap between landowners, farmers, and soil health

Early SHP cover crop data shows no yield drag, increase in organic matter

Insights from data collected by the Soil Health Partnership (SHP) shows that cover crops do not result in a yield drag. “I think farmers are concerned that when they adopt a cover crop that they’re going to see a yield drag,” said Dr. Maria Bowman, lead scientist for the Soil Health Partnership, “and the fact that our data show that there is no statistically significant yield drag, I think, is really important.” Other early data indicate that farmers participating in SHP are measurably improving their soil organic matter during their first few years in the program.

6 MIN2019 JAN 18
Comments
Early SHP cover crop data shows no yield drag, increase in organic matter

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