Soil Health U

Soil Health U 2019

Jan. 23-24, Tony's Pizza Event Center, Salina, KS

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Twenty-five years ago, Brian Pemberton bought acreage filled with thorn trees, scrub brush and multiflora roses. The only water source was a frog pond. The land needed four things: a road, buildings, fences and water.

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As the planting deadlines for corn and soybeans pass, an unprecedented planting season has many producers in the Midwest looking into prevent plant options.USDA’s recent announcement on 2019’s final haying and grazing dates being adjusted from Nov. 1 to Sept. 1, and eligibility being extende…

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The “zero waste” trend could have a friend in the form of biosolids. Biosolids are the materials produced after domestic waste is treated in urban wastewater systems. In the past, most of this solid material was transferred to landfills. But processes developed over the past few decades can …

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The Texas Alliance for Water Conservation is a state-funded project with a mission of developing water conservation strategies for future generations, while improving production agricultural practices. TAWC is a partnership of agricultural producers, industry officials, government agencies, …

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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…

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While there was no time to build an ark to prepare for the most recent Bomb Cyclone that hit Nebraska and other areas of the Midwest, the Noah Seim family said one of their fields in Merrick County successfully braved the storm because they had established a healthy stand of rye as a cover crop.

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There’s a common piece of advice given to farmers interested in improving soil health—pick a field and start. A Farmers.gov video follows five South Carolina farmers as they do just that. Working with Robin “Buz” Kloot, research associate professor at the University of South Carolina Arnold …

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Plant Materials Centers in the Southeast are gathering data on different types of cover crops that landowners can use during the summer months.

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Uniformity is among Paul Jasa’s key words with regard to plant matter in the field.“Leave the residue in place. Spread it evenly during harvest. Do it with a chaff spreader,” said Jasa, (pronounced “Yossa”) an Extension engineer with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.His talk enriched the S…

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More landowners are interested in planting strips of deep-rooted prairie within crop fields or on marginal land as an effective soil conservation and water quality practice. But they need reliable answers about the costs and benefits, the best seed mixes to use and how to establish a prairie…

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Nearly all farmers, ranchers and forest landowners across the country rely on one common resource for production: their soil. If you’re interested in learning more about this medium that grows our nation’s food, fuel and fiber, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service is here with a too…

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Alongside Kansas State University students and farmers she lectures at seminars, Anita Dille, Ph.D., beckons nature in her arsenal as a weed warrior.Timing and strategy, while co-existing with regenerative agriculture practices, are paramount in battles to secure moisture and sunlight for cr…

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Nick Vos operates Vos Farms in Hugoton, Kansas. At Soil Health U 2019, he discussed the problems caused by over-fertilization of fields. Plan now to attend Soil Health U and Trade Show 2020, which is set for Jan. 22-23 in Salina, Kansas.

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Lab analysis lets us “see the unseen” to help make good nutrient and fertility management decisions. Soil samples receive specific treatment to maintain consistency and to assure accuracy.

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There are many pieces to the soil health puzzle. According to some of the livestock producers on the panel at the Soil Health U event, Jan. 24, in Salina, Kansas, cattle play an integral role in their success.

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During the second year of the Soil Health U Jan. 23 to 24, at the Tony’s Pizza Events Center, Salina, Kansas, speakers provided many nuggets of information to share with attendees.Our coverage team shares comments made by prominent speakers to offer insight into the two-day Soil Health U eve…

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What drives growers' decisions when it comes to managing their fields in the winter? Timothy Durham, Ferrum College, lays out a grower's options.

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Winter soil freezes, heaves and moves. Erin Rooney, graduate fellow at Oregon State University, looks at the freeze-thaw cycle and how it changes soil on a microscopic level.

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Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. That’s certainly true for nitrogen fertilizers. Without enough nitrogen, crops don’t grow well. Yields are reduced significantly. Applying too much nitrogen fertilizer, on the other hand, can hurt the environment.

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Researchers have created an experimental model to better understand the interactions of fire and water in the soil.

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Adding livestock into an annual cropping system and grazing cover crops that are planted between cash crops is one way to potentially increase profit to a farm enterprise. If done correctly it can also improve soil health.

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Over the past year, I’ve had random texts from my brother-in-law, Scott. The first was a photo out the tractor window with “Cover crop going in at Campbell Farms.” The next was a progress photo a few weeks later that showed exactly no weeds in a problem field the year before. 

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Darrin Unruh has yet to take a shovel and dig deep into his pastures to test the health of his soils.But what is going on underneath his feet isn’t a mystery.The Pretty Prairie, Kansas, rancher can see the transformation daily when he steps out of his pickup onto his land along the banks of …

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Third generation potato farmer Brendon Rockey likes to teach and show producers how to improve their farm health with successful biotic methods. Rockey credits his grandfather for instilling principles about the importance of taking care of the soil and thinking long term about soil health. 

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Farmers and ranchers interested in learning how soil health practices can boost profitability and productivity should attend Soil Health U and Trade Show, Jan. 23 to 24, 2019, at the Tony’s Pizza Event Center (formerly the Bicentennial Center) in Salina.

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Chilling sub-zero temperatures. Astounding snowfalls. The weather outside is frightful. Yet under the snow and frost, life in soils carries on. Soils Matter, Soil Science Society of America’s science-based blog, provides insights to soils in winter and the organisms that live there.

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Shane New, 50, Holton, Kansas, has farmed for more than 25 years in Jackson County. Through research and asking key people for advice about his operation,  his focus changed to having proper water infiltration and building soil health.

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Del Ficke farms 14 miles south of Lincoln, Nebraska, just outside of Pleasant Dale. The fifth-generation farmer is trying to save his farm for the future by saving his soil.

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No-till November, a national campaign of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and others, encourages farmers to park their tillage implements each fall.

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The Soil Health Institute recently released a 60-minute documentary that captures the history—and significance—of the soil health movement.

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With harvest season winding down, you’re no doubt making an important decision for your working land. Will you hook up the plow, or is this the year you’ll park it for good? If you’d like to try no-till, use these 5 tips to go from no-till curious to no-till farmer.

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There is no crime in plagiarizing Mother Nature. That is, in essence, what farmers are doing when they mimic nature and interseed cover crops into established cornfields to suppress weeds, impact pests and beneficial insect communities, said Michael Bredeson, a doctoral student with the Ecdy…

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As Gabe Brown gained knowledge and applied it to his operation, his soil was healthier, absorbed and retained moisture and made the operation more profitable. Brown will be a keynote speaker at the Soil Health U and Trade Show, Jan. 23 to 24, 2019, at the Tony’s Pizza Event Center in Salina, Kansas.

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Spring in America’s heartland is often wet. That makes its soil too soft for planting. One solution to that issue is tile drainage. Growers insert a series of pipes (drain tiles) under their fields, which drains water from the soil into nearby streams and lakes. 

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When it comes to farming cotton, Kenneth McAlister has his bases covered— and most of his fields. The third-generation farmer switched to a no-till system 10 years ago. Over the last four years, he has been planting cover crops in the majority of the 10,000 acres he collectively farms with h…

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What is a realistic timeline goal for increasing soil organic matter content? Our “instant” culture gravitates to testimonials about how to rapidly increase soil organic matter by 1 percent within one to three years.

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Row crop producers wanting to explore cover crops as a way to help save water, manage weeds and improve soil, now have the first of a series of fact sheets as a resource, said Trent Roberts, associate professor-soil fertility for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.