More and more farmers are signing up to be a part of the Soil Health Partnership, a fact that was evident at the 2018 Soil Health Summit. The initial goal was to enroll 100 farmers over a five-year period. Organizers reached that goal after just three years and have now extended the program to at least 10 years based on interest and funding support.
“What we’re trying to do is take a science-based, data-based approach to understanding soil health opportunities. And it’s not just looking at the soil parameters. It’s trying to link that with the yield, economic and environmental parameters that are going to help our farmers out,” said Nick Goeser, director of the Soil Health Partnership and soil health and sustainability for the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA).NCGA CEO Chris Novak said the Summit was a great opportunity to see how the program is growing and where it’s headed. “To walk into the room and to see the number of farmers who are participating, to see the number of farmer partners who have joined this network is phenomenal, and I think truly demonstrates the benefits that farmers are seeing from utilizing cover crops, recognizing that enhancing soil quality and health is critical to their long term success,” said Novak.
Farmers in the program are trying cover crops, tillage changes, and nutrient management changes to better understand soil health. The Soil Health Partnership was officially launched in 2014 and is administered by NCGA with support from Monsanto, USDA-NRCS, Walton Family Foundation, Midwest Row Crop Collaborative, General Mills Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, and the Nature Conservancy.
Learn more in these interviews from the Summit last week –
Interview with Nick Goeser, Soil Health Partnership/NCGA
Interview with Chris Novak, NCGA