All posts by Leslie Johnson

28Apr/23

New Whitepaper Explores the Connection between Soil Health and Water Quality

The Soil Health Nexus is excited to debut two new resources on the Soil Health Toolbox! Two Soil Health Nexus members, Francisco Arriaga, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Anna Cates, Assistant Professor and State Soil Health Specialist at the University of Minnesota, recently published a long-awaited whitepaper exploring the connection between soil health and water quality.

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19Apr/23

Top 10 Impacts of Cover Crops for Soil Health

This Digital Café features Dr. Rob Myers, Director of the University of Missouri Center for Regenerative Agriculture and also Regional Director of Extension Programs for NCR-SARE, discussed several of the key ways that cover crops can improve soil health. These factors include nutrient cycling, soil organic matter, rainfall infiltration, addressing soil compaction, aggregate stability and impacts on earthworms, mycorrhizal fungi, and other aspects of soil biology. This presentation was originally broadcast on Wednesday, April 19, 2023.

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15Mar/23

Lessons learned from on-farm cover crop research in Nebraska

In this Digital Cafe, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Assistant Professor Andrea Basche and PhD graduate student Fernanda Krupek share results from five-year on-farm experiments conducted through a partnership program with Nebraska NRCS and the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network. This includes findings on how cover crops impact soil properties, nutrient cycling, weed communities and best practices for sampling at the farm scale. This presentation was originally broadcast on Wednesday, March 15, 2023.

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15Feb/23

Baseline Assessment of the Soil Health in Ohio

A key part of soil health assessments is understanding how soil health indicators vary by soil type. This Digital Café features Christine Sprunger, Assistant Professor of Soil Health at Michigan State University, who outlines a baseline soil health assessment that was conducted in Ohio. The talk also outlines goals for conducting future baseline assessments across the state of Michigan. This presentation was originally broadcast on Wednesday, February 15, 2023.

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18Jan/23

Prairies and Landscape Change: Notes from the Underground

Restoring prairie from cropland has well-known benefits to soil health – at least to the soil directly underneath the prairie. In this presentation, Dr. Marshall McDaniel, Associate Professor at Iowa State University, shared how might prairie strips, or contour plantings of native prairie species embedded in row crop fields, affect the surrounding soil and crops. This presentation was originally broadcast on Wednesday, January 18, 2023.

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16Nov/22

Cover Crop Profitability

How long does it take for cover crops to become profitable?  In this presentation, Dr. Rob Myers of University of Missouri shared insights on how different management scenarios can impact the time it takes for cover crops to provide a positive economic return, based on data from the SARE/CTIC national cover crop survey.This presentation was originally broadcast on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.

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19Oct/22

Citizen Science for Great Lakes Cover Crops

Many cover crop benefits depend on successful cover crop growth, or biomass, but cover crop biomass can vary widely across farms because it is influenced by a range of environmental and management factors. This Digital Cafe featured Etienne Herrick, a Ph.D. student in the Blesh Soil and Agroecosystems Lab at the University of Michigan, who provided an overview of a citizen science project working to better understand how and why cover crop growth varies across real farms. This presentation was originally broadcast on Wednesday, October 19, 2022.

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21Sep/22

Soil Health Practices and Water Behavior and Efforts to Quantify Soil Function

Soil health is defined in terms of soil function, and some of the most important functions are related to water-holding and water infiltration. Farmers and policy-makers both care about these properties, but they can be elusive to measure. In this edition of the Soil Health Digital Café, Dr. Anna Cates, University of Minnesota Soil Health Specialist, discusses on-farm efforts to quantify changes in soil function with soil health practice adoption, including soil organic matter pools, soil aggregates, and water infiltration. This presentation was originally broadcast on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.

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25Aug/22

Nebraska Soil Health Producer Panel

In a special edition of the Soil Health Nexus Digital Cafe Series, Nebraska Extension hosted a Producer Panel. The panel includes 3hree Nebraska farmers who share their soil health and conservation stories, how precipitation impacts the conservation practices they practice, and how the adoption of conservation has impacted their bottom line. They also answer audience questions. This presentation was originally broadcast on Thursday, August 25, 2022.

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17Aug/22

How to Interrogate a Soil

This Soil Health Digital Café features Tony Hartshorn, Associate Professor at Montana State University, who discusses his work in the Soil Interrogation Lab at Montana State University, soil literacy, soil remediation, and the importance of knowing your parent material. This presentation was originally broadcast on Wednesday, August 17, 2022.

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