Podcast

Monthly Soil Health Podcasts are produced in partnership with Hoosier Ag Today.  These podcasts focus upon a variety of soil health practices and topics. Most feature conversations with an expert farmer and an ag professional.  In addition to the HAT website, you can subscribe to the podcast on the following platforms:

 

Listen on Google Play Music

Listen to Stitcher

 


Supplemental print-ready articles are available for download as well as shorter MSWord versions suitable for adaptation for newsletters and/or local media outlets.

October 2019 – Fall and Winter Cover Crop Grazing Considerations

Cover crops can provide excellent grazing opportunities for a variety of ruminants such as cattle, goats, sheep, and buffalo. Join Purdue University Southeast Indiana Purdue Ag Center (SIPAC) Superintendent Jason Tower along with Indiana USDA-NRCS Grazing Specialist Robert Zupancic as they discuss fall, winter, and spring forage opportunities for cover crops – as well as haylage potential for farms without appropriate grazing infrastructure.

September 2019 – Encouraging Women Landowners to Get More Involved in Conservation Conversations

Heather Bacher, the Indiana State Coordinator for Women4theLand, and Jen Filipiak, Midwest Regional Director for American Farmland Trust discuss the importance of non-operating landowners getting involved in the conservation conversation, particularly women. Bacher and Filipiak say that non-operating landowners can have a profound effect on the adoption of soil health practices..

August 2019 – The 1st Ever Indiana Nutrient Alliance Field Day

Christy Wright from Corteva Agriscience, Seth Harden from The Nature Conservancy, and Indiana Farm Bureau’s Justin Schneider discuss their roles in encouraging soil health practices at the first ever field day presented by the Indiana Ag Nutrient Alliance on Aug. 19, 2019.

July 2019 – Weed Control on Prevent Plant Acres

Dr. Aaron Hager, Associate Professor at the University of Illinois specializing in weeds, discusses weed pressure on prevent plant acres. He says waterhemp, marestail, and giant ragweed are 4 to 5 feet tall in Illinois and another burndown application will likely be ineffective at this point in the season.  He discusses other options available to farmers to reduce weed seed banks for 2020 and beyond.

June 2019 – Combating Climate and Erosion with Cover Crops

Scott Wohltman, Cover Crop Chair for the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) and agronomist for La Crosse Seed talks about a recent D.C. trip to tell lawmakers about the tight supplies for cover crops in a time where a number of farmers are looking at planting covers on prevented plant acres. Wohltman also discusses crop insurance decisions, loss of forage, the importance of the quality of seed, keeping a living root in the ground to improve soil health, and he gives some guidelines for what he would be doing in this very frustrating season.

May 2019 – Combating Climate and Erosion with Cover Crops

Weather and field conditions through Winter and Spring of 2019 have led to serious erosion problems across the Midwest.  NE Indiana/NW Ohio farmer Allen Dean and Indiana Ag Nutrient Alliance Executive Director Ben Wicker discuss how fields seeded to cover crops have fared much better than those without protective cover.  Because these weather patterns are expected to continue or worsen in coming years, it is important to armor fields and improve soil stability and water infiltration with soil health practices.

April 2019 – Combating Climate and Erosion with Cover Crops

Weather and field conditions through Winter and Spring of 2019 have led to serious erosion problems across the Midwest.  NE Indiana/NW Ohio farmer Allen Dean and Indiana Ag Nutrient Alliance Executive Director Ben Wicker discuss how fields seeded to cover crops have fared much better than those without protective cover.  Because these weather patterns are expected to continue or worsen in coming years, it is important to armor fields and improve soil stability and water infiltration with soil health practices.

March 2019 – Do You Need Neonicotinoid Treated Seed?

Featuring John Tooker, Penn State Associate Professor of Entomology, this podcast focuses upon the explosion of neonicotinoid-treated seed use and its unintended consequences: “The more insecticide you use, the fewer predators will be around and there is this kind of weird feedback – if you have fewer predators around, you will likely need more insecticides.” Potential problems include increased slug damage to crops due to impacts on slug predators.

February 2019 – Good Data Drives Success

Recorded at the 2019 Commodity Classic, Williamsport, IN farmer Rick Clark, who was honored as the 2019 Northeast Region American Soybean Association Conservation Legacy Award recipient, shares his insights into managing 7,000 acres in a 100% no-till, 100% cover crop system. “Every rig you have is collecting data, and we have to know what to do with it. Good data leads to good decisions. When you collect the data, and you make your decisions off that data, you then become a low-cost input producer, which is what we are. That then puts you in a position of strength.”

January 2019 – Building on a Family Legacy

Farming next to St. Mary’s river on the land his great, great grandfather settled in 1847, Decatur, Indiana farmer Mike Werling takes special pride in the way his system has restored biodiversity and is even reclaiming clay knobs that were a result of generations of farming practices.  Werling and Indiana USDA-NRCS Soil Health Specialist Stephanie McLain discuss how his soils behave under a long term system, an earthworm work force, and why patchy cover crops can be beneficial.


December 2018 – Soil Health Payback – Minimizing Risks and Reaping Rewards

Arcadia, Indiana farmer Rodney Rulon and his cousins base cropping systems changes for their 6000-acre farm on data-driven decisions. They have found that more often than not, the best economic decision and the best conservation decision go hand in hand. Rulon and Indiana USDA-NRCS State Conservationist Jerry Raynor discuss changes in organic matter, and how programs like those offered through NRCS can provide assistance to get started.

November 2018 – Manures in a Soil Health System

Gordon Smiley farms approximately 1200 acres with his brother Jeff near Greensburg, Indiana, including  a swine operation. They use a combination of no-till, cover crops, and carefully managed manure applications to improve the productivity of their cropland. Smiley and consultant Kristin Whittington, owner of Landmark Enterprises, talk about their fertility program, including how cover crops take up nutrients from manure applications for later release to cash crops.

September 2018 – Fall Emerged Weeds and Cover Crops

Over the past 40+ years, Knox County Indiana Farmer Mike Brocksmith has developed skill sets critical to weed control in no-till systems. These days, cover crops play a significant role in controlling fall-emerged weeds, such as Marestail.  Brocksmith and agronomist Betsy Bower of Ceres Solutions talk about the importance of managing fall emerged weeds for successful cover crop establishment and weed control in the following crop year.

August 2018 – Soil Health and Water Quality

Putnam County Indiana farmers Mark and Phyllis Legan, along with their family, have defined stewardship as taking care of something – whether that is the land or the water or the pigs or the employees. “We are a part of our community, and we have to take care of it just like everyone else.” The Legans, along with Indiana Association of SWCDs Executive Director Joe Schmees talk about the importance of watershed protection and their investment in soil health.

July 2018 – Warm Season Cover Crops and Grazing after Wheat or Silage

Warsaw, Indiana, farmer Jamie Scott strategicallly includes wheat in his cropping rotation to maximize cover crop growth. Because of that balance and diversity, he sees an immediate positive change in soil function and feels adding a grazing component will further increase those changes as well ROI.  Indiana USDA-NRCS Grazing Specialist Susannah Hinds joins Scott to discuss cover crop mix options and planning a grazing system.