INDIANAPOLIS - On Jan. 29, farmers, agronomists and others interested in soil health improvement will have an opportunity to attend a Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative (CCSI) field day near Vincennes. On the following day, Jan. 30, high school students are invited to take part in hands-on soil health demonstrations.
Mike Brocksmith, field day host and one of 12 CCSI farmers feels strongly that cover crops and soil health synergies are the missing link in protecting, rebuilding, and enhancing soil resources.
“The average farmer only gets to manage about 40 cropping seasons. Improving soil health is a long term process, you don’t just decide you want healthy soil and flip a switch or throw some dollar bills out there and have healthy soil.” said Brocksmith. “Improving soil health is a marathon, not a 100 yard dash. The time to start is now.”
The Jan. 29 field day will focus on providing farmers and crop advisors with tools to adopt and evaluate practices that can lead to improved soil health as well as avoid costly mistakes. To better understand the slug infestations that plagued many Midwest growers in 2013, Dr. Ron Hammond, Ohio State University will discuss slug research and control. To better understand the differences between the newer “soil health” tests, Dr Mary-Jane Orr, Purdue Agronomy Research will discuss the four commercially available tests being utilized by the CCSI.
Other presentations at the Jan. 29 event include: How to set up replicated strip trials to evaluate systems; and planter, combine, and other equipment modifications and adjustments; and avoiding chemical drift
“I was shocked to learn about some costly damages to hardwood trees from early spring herbicide applications. And Spring of 2013 made it pretty obvious that we have a lot to learn about slug control, “ said Lisa Holscher, CCSI. “This workshop is going to help both farmers and their advisors get a better handle on these issues - as well as get a better handle on what the new soil health tests are about.”