What is CCSI?

Indiana’s Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative

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The Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative (CCSI) is a partnership between numerous organizations in Indiana all working toward improving soil health and soil productivity. Its goal is to carry out farm scale agronomic and economic research on soil health and educate farmers and those who interact with farmers on the benefits of soil health and conservation agricultural practices. To carry out these goals CCSI created four regional hubs in the four quadrants of Indiana and each led by delegates from the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD), Purdue Extension, and Watershed Groups. Delegates assist with data collection at the 17 CCSI research sites; identify, promote and support soil health educational events; and act as liaisons between CCSI and their home agency.   Since its inception, CCSI partners have taken over 1200 samples in replicated strip trials with over 148 strips and conducted over 45 educational events with audiences totaling over 2634 farmers and agriculture professionals.  Through the assembly of a network of conservation minded farmers and technical experts, CCSI is addressing the challenges facing widespread adoption of conservation agricultural practices.

 

 

 

 

Accomplishments – 2014

  • Conducted numerous soil health related events:
    • 12 Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) Farmer Events with over 600 attendees
    • 2 Intro to Soil Health for 50 attendees
    • 4 advanced soil health trainings for over 200 ICP partners and Ag professionals
    • Presentation and media skills training for 40 attendees
    • 25 additional field days with over 1,700 attendees
    • Concerted outreach effort to CCAs and Ag Professionals commenced
  • Provided one-on-one technical assistance to 44 individuals
  • Soil Health Investigations:
    • Replicated strip trials on 17 sites totaling 148 strips
    • Over 1,200 aggregated samples pulled
    • Over 50 people involved in helping to pull samples
    • Participation in USDA-ARS study on Soil Health Nutrient Tool (Rick Haney, ARS Temple Texas)