The Soil Health Nexus website is now live! www.soilhealthnexus.org
Many conventional farmers don’t believe that improving soil health can improve their bottom line. Fewer still believe that changes they can make will improve the ability of their fields to mitigate climate variability or to protect water quality. Farmers who try a few practices (e.g. cover crops, no-till) often give up after the first few years, due to challenges in controlling the cover crop or managing crop residue, or because of perceived yield losses/increased pest problems. Many first line professionals, such as Extension educators, Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) staff and Certified Crop Advisors (CCA), don’t have the advanced knowledge, training, or tools to adequately assist these farmers. There is also minimal collaboration from these professionals across the region on addressing the problem and finding a beneficial solution on how to educate growers on soil health.
Short term goals:
Long term goals:
The project will create a North Central Soil Health Work Group with representatives from Land Grant Universities across the 12 state region. The work team members will participate in a soil health conference to improve their knowledge in soil health and develop a common body of knowledge and accepted science that will be used in developing the regional framework to address soil health education. This team will be the foundation for an ongoing collaborative multi state network that’s goal is to increase the visibility and understanding of soil health for Extension educators, agency professionals, agronomists, Certified Crop Advisors and farmers in the North Central Region. The team will develop and deliver soil health education at field days, workshops, webinars and printed resources.