Soil health symposium focuses on research, resiliency

A special symposium called “Public Private Partnerships to Improve Soil Health and Agronomic Resiliency” focused on soil health and resiliency in the face of climate change is being held this week as part of the Synergy in Science ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meeting in Minneapolis.

Steve Berger, a farmer from Iowa, spoke about using a combination of no-till and growing cover crops like rye in the winter to ensure his corn and soybeans could withstand extreme weather conditions. “This soil has been to the gym, if you will. I’ve adopted practices on my farm that I believe will build healthy soil and protect water while maximizing my yields.”

The symposium also allowed private agricultural companies, researchers and nonprofit organizations to come together and discuss how to adapt to weather extremes while also becoming more sustainable.

“Our challenge as researchers, grantors, environmental organizations, commodity organizations, universities and farmers in the next few years is to align organizational efforts, farmer incentives and the removal of barriers to scale up implementation of soil health practices within conservation management systems,” Moira McDonald,  of the Walton Family Foundation, said.

Berger expressed the need forresearch on behalf of his of fellow farmers.

“I know from what I read in the newspaper that people are going to demand that farmers move in this direction," he said. "Farmers need to lead it, but we need the tools from you, including consistent research methodology that translates to farms in different climates.”

Organizations in this story

National Corn Growers Association 632 Cepi Drive Chesterfield, MO 63005

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