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Partnership endorses soil health practices

Photo Courtesy of Aaron Roth, NRCS Oregon

A project designed to helped farmers thrive through increased soil health adopts CF Industries 4R Plus program.

Jacob Ness is field manager for the Soil Health Partnership. Ness helps farmers become more productive and sustainable through improved soil health health. He assists farmers by using resources from 4R Plus.

Ness talks about recent conversations with farmers. He says some farmers do not wish to invest in new practices due to tough economic times. However, Ness points out most farmers seem to be receptive to implementing nutrient management and conservation practices.

“There’s different economic factors that play into these management decisions. ‘How much does it cost,’ and, ‘how much do we see in return on investment?’ are the primary concerns. But, a lot of farmers are interested in what they can do and how they can adopt these practices into their farming operation to make themselves more sustainable and be able to whether our current market situation,” Ness said.

The Soil Health Partnership primarily promotes infield practices such as cover crops, no-till and strip till. Ness shares a lot of farmers look to implement cover crop for nutrient management.

“Cover crops have been the most popular because they have a huge impact on the Nutrient Reduction Strategy, as well as a lot easier to adopt in a current management system,” Ness said. “Secondary would be reduced tillage, strip till or no-till.”

Ness hopes farmers will continue to explore new options for improved soil health.

“My hopes are that more farmers get to see these practices, understand them better and see how they can adopt them. The most critical thing here is to make farmers more sustainable, more productive and improve their operations,” Ness said.