Dr. Linda Prokopy and Belyna Bentlage of Purdue University described sustainablilty in agriculture in their guest blog post as “an urgent and recognized need”. Click the link below to read the rest of the blog.
Facebook Live Video Feed
As of this year, CCSI has began testing live video feed at events. The goal of using Facebook Live is so people who are unable to attend these events or live too far away can still receive information and interact with the speaker through live video feed.
Know someone who is uber-organized and passionate about soil health? How about someone with with excellent written, visual, and audio skills?
CCSI is looking for a pair of individuals to join our team! Use the link above to learn more!
With Indiana farmers looking for ways to improve soil health and water quality in their communities, Indiana’s On-Farm Network is gearing up for 2015 with a new look, new name and new partners. On-Farm Network, a program first developed by the Iowa Soybean Association, debuted in Indiana in 2010. After finding success in several Indiana counties, local ag industry partners adapted the program for Indiana farmers. In early 2015, the program was renamed INfield Advantage, referencing advantages for farmers who are interested in optimizing their inputs and validating their infield management practices.
Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Indiana Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts, Purdue Extension and the Indiana Conservation Partnership will continue to provide support for this newly renamed program.
A Different Kind Of “Healthcare” Taking Root On Indiana Farms
By Jane Hardisty, State Conservationist
Thursday, October 31, 2013
There’s a potentially game-changing movement coming from America’s heartland. It has broad implications regarding the vitality of our farms, the health of our planet and our ability to feed more than 9 billion people who will be coming to dinner by the year 2050.
This movement continues to grow thanks to a different kind of “healthcare”—the health and care of our precious soil. Previously, most of us have looked at soil in terms of its “quality.” But as one farmer observed recently, “Anything can have quality, but only living things can have health.”
So while it might seem like a trivial word-choice important only to those that work in the marketing department, the focus on “soil health” verses “soil quality” reflects a fundamental shift in the way we think about and are caring for our nation’s soil.
Talk to any farmer working to improve the health of the soil and he or she will likely tell you that the “ah-ha” moment came when they realized that soil isn’t just an inactive growing medium. In fact, the soil is alive and teaming with trillions of microorganisms and fungi that are the foundation of an elegant, symbiotic ecosystem.
This new reality has quietly brought about an agricultural revolution as more and more farmers in Indiana and throughout the nation are harvesting a wide range of benefits—on and off the farm—by improving soil health. From every angle—business, production, sustainability, and environmental—managing for soil health makes sense!
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently launched a new education campaign titled “Unlock the Secrets in the Soil” to help more farmers discover the basics and benefits of soil health—and to encourage the adoption of soil health-improving practices like cover cropping, no-till and diverse crop rotations.
The journey to improving soil health has its challenges. Every farm is different and has its own set of unique resource issues. Fortunately, our nation’s farmers are innovative, courageous and tenacious. NRCS is committed to assist these soil health pioneers—and to help make their farms more productive, resilient and profitable along the way.
As we face mounting production, climate and sustainability challenges, I believe there is no better time to make a long-term commitment to improve the health of our living and life-giving soil.
The promise of our future depends on it.
Jane Hardisty is the State Conservationist for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Indiana. For more information on soil health visit www.in.nrcs.usda.gov
Indiana Natural Resource Conservation Service
6013 Lakeside Boulevard
Indianapolis, IN 46278
Do you ever feel the uncontrollable urge to disk your field? Do you wake up at night in a cold sweat, thinking about the cost of diesel fuel? If so, you may have Restless Tillage Syndrome. Don’t worry, it can be readily treated with no-till!
Annual Conservation Tillage Meeting: Nov. 1, Moore’s Hill, IN
The Marshall Alford Farm has effectively set up controlled traffic zones: field traffic is contained in the same pattern year after year – a practice that really shone when measuring penetration resistance (compaction). combined with nearly 30 years of no-till and 20 years working with cover crops, Alford shows just how well soil health practices can benefit a region known for its tight, wet soils.
Register at www.alfordfieldday.eventbrite.com.
Recognizing the fact that sometimes the best assistance comes from people who have “been there, done that,” CCSI launched a Mentoring Program in 2012.
The program is designed to put producers in touch with farmer-mentors and/or consultants for one-on-one technical assistance to help implement practices and systems that can lead to improved soil health.