“Start small, get your feet wet, and make your mistakes at a small scale.” Shelby County farmer Aaron Heilers shared this advice on integrating soil conservation practices during the year’s first OSUE Soil Health webinar on January 6. The webinar featured a panel of Ohio farmers, including Heilers, Jason Sneed, (Clinton County), and Jack Sommers (Champaign County). The three discussed their soil health resolutions for 2022 in a session moderated by Extension educators Tony Nye and Taylor Dill. View it online at https://youtu.be/e565V6eIyqs.
The guest panelists discussed new ideas and equipment they’ll employ in 2022 to help them plant more cover crops and experiment with cover crop termination strategies. The trio also discussed the challenges of adjusting cover crop and rotation plans to time and labor restrictions and to changing weather conditions. Despite the challenges, all agreed that resolving to improve soil health has paid off with noticeable differences in soil structure, organic matter, less crusting, better field access, and improved water management.
The 2022 soil health series will continue with “What does the Research Tell Us about Cover Crops & Soil Health?” on February 3, 8-9 a.m. OSUE Field Specialist Elizabeth Hawkins and State Soil Specialist Steve Culman will share recent Ohio research trial results. Come with your questions and suggestions for future research trials! Register at go.osu.edu/soilhealth2022.