Using aerial imagery, a non-destructive and easy-to apply method, we are able to gain insight into cover crop biomass production across an entire field, which would not be possible with traditional, boots-on-the-ground biomass sampling.
Through education and on-farm assessment, Nebraska landowners part of the Soil Health Initiative (SHI) are evaluating the effects of diverse cover crop mixtures on both soil properties and agronomic indicators of soil health.
Biomass production, N uptake, and C:N ratio vary widely across the United States. The N in cover crop biomass will be released within a few weeks after termination, however, decomposition varies with soil moisture, soil temperature and C:N ratios.
A synthesis of 89 studies across six continents has helped clarify which agricultural practices hold water when it comes to helping soils soak up precipitation — a factor critical to mitigating floods, outlasting drought and stabilizing crop yields.
How can we manage cropland to improve soil health? To test and encourage adoption of soil health practices, the Soil Health Demonstration Initiative was launched as a collaborative effort of growers, UNL and NRCS. Now a network of farm research sites is providing valuable information from in-field studies.
Growers conducting on-farm demonstrations as part of the Nebraska Soil Health Initiative met with UNL and NRCS staff to share about what they were doing and learning on their farms. Their work offers valuable insights for other growers considering how they too can build soil health on their farms.