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Here’s one from 1950 proving that soil health and grazing is not a new idea, just one agriculture has gotten away from. Sample quote: “The beauty of grassland is the way it saves the soil, makes it rich and makes money for you at the same time.” That could double as a tagline for our Midwest Soil Health Summit.
For a bevy of soil health videos, including demonstrations of their various projects that are building soil health, visit the Rock County (MN) Conservation YouTube channel.
Educational articles from Tom Barthel of Snake River Farm
Tom Barthel is a longtime SFA member and owner/operator at Snake River Farm in Becker, Minn. A stalwart sustainable farmer and soil health expert, Tom writes often for his farm website and has shared the following articles with SFA:
Relevant columns by MSHS presenter Dr. Allen Williams
- Dr. Allen Williams writes for the GrassFed Exchange via Graze Magazine, “Can We Produce Grassfed Beef at Scale?”
- Dr. Allen Williams writes for the GrassFed Exchange via Graze Magazine, “In Defense of Soil Health”
Introduction to Soil Health and Restoration, by Kent Solberg – Feb. 2017, SFA Annual Conference
Soil Health & Nutrient Management for Immigrant Farmers: Train the Trainer Workshop – September 2016, University of Minnesota
Building Soil Heath Experts: Advanced Training for Professionals curriculum – Feb. 17, 2016, Midwest Soil Health Summit, Alexandria, Minn.:
- Integrating Cover Crops & Livestock into Cropping Systems – Dr. Allen Williams (PDF)
- Measuring Soil Microbial Activity – Dr. Richard Haney (PDF)
- Introduction to Cover Crop Selection – Kent Solberg, MS (PDF)
Other Soil Health-Focused Organizations
- The Pasture Project works to expand grass-based systems of livestock production and introducing cover-crops and periodic livestock grazing into row crop farming, all of which both increase profits and rebuild soils and water cycles. SFA is proud to have support from The Pasture Project for our soil health initiatives.
- Green Lands Blue Waters Midwest Perennial Forage Group works to facilitate an increase in land used for pasture and perennial forage production in the Upper Midwest, and to improve the environmental performance of farming systems, while maintaining agricultural production and profitability.
- For more information about SFA’s Networking Group, the Crow Wing River Basin Forage Council, click here or email email@example.com.
- American Grassfed
- Burleigh County Soil and Conservation District
- Grassfed Exchange
Other Relevant Links
- Reduced Tillage and Cover Cropping Systems for Organic Vegetable Production” from the Virginia Association for Biological Farming
- North Central Region (NCR) Cooperative Extension Services guide, “Pasture Rental Agreements for Your Farm”
- North Central Region (NCR) Cooperative Extension Services guide, “Crop Share Rental Agreements for Your Farm”
- “Optimizing Managed Grazing for Soil Health and Sustainable Production Systems,” Steven R. Shafer, Dennis Chessman, Johnny R. Rogers, Kenneth W. Tate and Kristie A. Maczko.
- “Herbicide Rotation Restrictions in Forage and Cover Cropping Systems,” University of Wisconsin Extension
- Soybean Herbicide Fact Sheet, Practical Farmers of Iowa
- Corn Herbicide Fact Sheet, Practical Farmers of Iowa
- Iowa State Extension Cover Crop Resources homepage
- Iowa State University report: “Herbicide Use May Restrict Grazing Options for Cover Crops.”
- “Integrated Crop Livestock Systems in the U.S. Corn Belt”, by R. Marc Sulk & Benjamin F. Tracy of Ohio State University.
- Purdue University and the Midwest Cover Crops Council have released the second edition of the Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide.
- From No-Till Farmer: “No-Till, Cover Crops and Wheat Pull Farm Out of a Yield Rut.”
- University of Wisconsin Extension Integrated Pest Management homepage
- From the American Society for Agronomy, “More for Less in Pastures.”
- From AgWeek: “Introducing Livestock Into Arable Cropping Systems Can Improve Soil Health.”
- Farm Futures: “Soil Health Just Needs One First Step.”
- No-Till Farmer: “Getting Postive Results From a Cover Crop Addiction.”
- Drovers Magazine: “Treating Cover Crops Like Cash Crops.”
- No-Till Farmer: “Extra Cover Crop Growth Prior to Soybeans Provides Benefits.”
- What is ROI on cover crops? Agriculture.com says “Investing in Soil Health Pays.”
- Can you market cover crops as mulch for vegetable operations? Potentially. “Harnessing the Power of Cover Crops.”
- American Grassfed’s A Meat Terminology Primer for Consumers
- Practical Farmers of Iowa’s Grazing Cover Crops Fact Sheet (2013)
- Purdue University Newsletter article: “Residual Herbicides and Fall Cover Crop Establishment.”
- From University of Nebraska, “Herbicide Options for Planting Forage Cover Crops After Corn and Soybean”
- A study found that organic milk has about 62 percent more omega-3s, compared to milk produced by cows on conventional dairy farms. Read the story here.
- From NRCS, this video, “The Science of Soil Health: Without Carrot or Stick” details how Pennsylvania dairy farmers are using cover crops to improve their business – without regulations or subsidies. Watch it here.