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.
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.
Each year, the On-Farm Research Network plans a series of update meetings and invites producers to attend in order to gain valuable crop production related information from the research projects conducted by Nebraska farmers.
A Cover Crop Field Tour of three sites in Nemaha County will look at how cover crops are being used and what the early yield and biomass data are showing. A soil pit at one site will also offer insights into longer-term soil health benefits.
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.