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High Plains Journal - Soil Health
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Feature Story

Cover Crop Corner: How to cut input costs while improving cash crop yields

By Risa Demasi, Co-Founder, Grassland Oregon

A 27.5 percent decrease in synthetic nitrogen, 49.5 percent decrease in farm diesel, 91.8 percent decrease in MAP (monoammonium phosphate) and a 100 percent decrease in both lime and potash applications—these are just a few of the impressive input reductions Clark Land & Cattle have made from 2011 to 2018—while improving yield averages year on year.  

While visiting farms in the heart of the Corn Belt a few weeks ago, I had the privilege of paying a call to the 7,000-acre corn, soybean and beef farm managed by Rick Clark in Williamsport, Indiana. Given the wet spring his area has had, I couldn’t help but notice the stark difference between his fields that we walked without the need for boots and his neighbors fields that were completely saturated. According to him, his field conditions are primarily down to the way the farm is managed. Read more

Soil Health U Expert Insight

Soil Health U 2019-Gabe Brown

Gabe Brown is a rancher from Bismarck, North Dakota. At Soil Health U he shared five principles of a healthy soil ecosystem he learned from his 25-year journey of regenerating his family farm's soil. 

Soil Health U 2019-Ray Ward

Ray Ward runs Ward Laboratories in Kearney, Nebraska. At Soil Health U he discussed how to improve grassland by improving soil health.

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More Soil Health News

Magruder Plots offer research opportunities for Oklahoma State University

By Lacey Newlin

Travelers entering the city limits of Stillwater, Oklahoma, by way of Highway 51, notice pristine white fences containing many of Oklahoma State University’s farms and agriculture endeavors. Read more

Prairie preservation: New state park will expand conservation mission of historic ranch

By Shauna Rumbaugh

Dramatic Niobrara Chalk bluffs and spires, millions of years old, stretch into the sky at the Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park, the newest state park in Kansas. Less conspicuous than the badlands, but equally impressive, are the diverse wildlife and plant species that make this chalk prairie and the surrounding grassland in Logan County their home.  Read more

USDA announces availability of $12.5 million in Conservation Innovation Grants

USDA announced May 30 it is investing up to $12.5 million to help support the adoption of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural lands. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting proposals through July 30 for national Conservation Innovation Grants. CIG projects inspire creative problem-solving that boosts production on farms, ranches, and private forests—ultimately, they improve water quality, soil health and wildlife habitat. Read more

Economics of Soil Health will be assessed across North America

Management practices that improve soil health can be good for the farm and the environment, but farmers need information on economics when deciding whether to adopt these practices. To address this critical issue, Cargill and the Soil Health Institute have announced a new partnership to assess, demonstrate and communicate the economics of soil health management systems across North America. Read more

No-till on the Plains to host bus tour in Texas Panhandle

Join No-till on the Plains, fellow producers and soil health experts July 30 through Aug. 1 for a tour of some of the best farms and farmers in the Texas Panhandle. Participants will see the positive on-farm benefits of using soil health principles, including water conservation, increased organic matter, improved nutrient utilization, weed suppression and decreased input costs. Read more

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Jennifer and Kylene bring Part 2 of their interview with Dr. Nancy and Dr. Jerry Jaax, the real veterinarians behind the hit National Geographic series "The Hot Zone." They also feature an interview from the wheat field with HPJ's All Aboard Wheat Harvest correspondents and KFRM.

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