By John Mesko • SFA Executive Director
Soil Health is on the tip of a lot of tongues these days. The raging success of the 2014 Midwest Soil Health Summit just confirms its importance to today’s farmers. The conference was a sold-out day and a half of programming. With a great blend of expert large-audience lecture, smaller breakout sessions and targeted one-on-one programming, attendees were well informed, educated and invigorated about the prospect of soil health.
Soil Health is what happens when the naturally regenerative processes in our soils are allowed to work, unhindered by unnecessary tillage, harmful pesticides and improper fertilization. When aided by the addition of cover crops, judicious use of grazing and creative management, soils can overcome years of abuse, and over time become additively productive. Sustainable agriculture means we are able to produce indefinitely. When we focus our efforts on soil health, not only are we able to produce indefinitely, we are able to increase production over time.
Add to this the reduction of input costs, the resiliency of cash crops against extreme weather events and the diversity that comes with marketing livestock, you have a recipe for taking the boom and bust out of farming that has traditionally trapped many in an unending cycle of overproducing the wrong product at the wrong time.
If you were at the Midwest Soil Health Summit last week, you heard a vision for this type of agriculture. If you weren’t at the Summit, you need a vision for this type of agriculture. We can help with that. Stay tuned for more information about future Soil Health programming from SFA.
Finally, special thanks to SFA’s Event Coordinator Jerry Ford, who, along with SFA staffers Kent Solberg and Jason Walker made the second major conference for SFA in 10 days a HUGE success!