CCSI-HAT Soil Health Podcast

CCSI-HAT Soil Health Podcast

Monthly podcast dedicated to soil health practices and systems. The podcast is produced through a partnership between the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative (ccsin.org) and Hoosier Ag Today. It features farmers and other experts discussing a wide variety of practices: no-till, cover crops, nutrient/manure management, grazing. Special thanks to Purdue University Hort Extension for their organization and guidance for the specialty crop track.

Episodes

January 19, 2023 29 min

Thinking outside the box about a farm’s economics can lead to opportunities, including those created by climate-smart agriculture. Michael Morrow, executive director of the Indiana Farmers Union and land steward who farms with his family, and Hans Schmitz, Conservation Agronomist for the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative, dive into adopting climate-smart strategies, from carbon markets and agrivoltaics to no-till and cover c...

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Crops were challenged this past year with intense rains followed by long dry spells, and soil's ability to hold water is one characteristic that will be important for farming in the future. Hans Schmitz, the lead agronomist for CCSI, and Austin Pearson, climatologist for the Midwestern Regional Climate Center (mrcc.purdue.edu), talk this episode about the effects of recent weather events, the differences between climate and wea...

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November 14, 2022 40 min

It turns out that a discussion about insects and soil health isn’t just a discussion about how insects affect soil health. It’s also about how the disappearance of beneficial insects is affecting the health of plants, wildlife, livestock, crops, rural communities, and ourselves.

Jonathan Lundgren, founder and director of Ecdysis Foundation, trains future scientists and farmers at Blue Dasher Farm in South Dakota. In this episode, he...

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Join John Jamerson and Denise Greer Jamerson live and farm in historic Lyles Station, Indiana - an historic Black farming community. For years, they have been tapping into their connections and their roots to sell fresh produce in Indiana food deserts and to educate about farming and nutrition. Along with their many local partners, the Jamersons launched the Indiana Black Loam Conference in the winter of 2022. With events in Evansv...

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Hans Schmitz, CCSI Agronomist, and Joe Rorick, Indiana Soybean Alliance/Indiana Corn Marketing Council - both also with Purdue Extension - talk about opportunities to build resilience to extreme weather, participate in programs to try out soil health practices - including INfield Advantage, field days and more.

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Recorded at Fisher's Farm where former NRCS Regional Soil Health Specialist Barry Fisher (recently retired) practices what he preachers - Barry was joined by former Indiana NRCS State Soil Health Specialist Stephanie McLain (who just left to be the State Soil Health Specialist in Minnesota) talk about the importance of sound training and technical support to help ensure farmers are successful in adoption of soil health practice...

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Recorded live at the Indy Farm Show, Mike Shuter - a seasoned soil health practitioner and NACD Soil Health Champion was joined by Andrew Bernzott, a young farmer and National Wildlife Federation Conservation Champion, and Dan Quinn, Purdue Extension Corn Specialist, to talk about their soil health experiences and the importance of learning from peers.

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Everyone knows you can't use cover crops in river bottoms, right? WRONG!

Ray McCormick, Knox County, Indiana, farms about 1000 acres of river bottom farmland and uses cover crops on every acre. He is joined by CCSI Director Lisa Holscher to talk about the benefits and challenges of this practice.

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SW Indiana IT Professional / Soil Health Farmer Pat Bittner exemplifies the studious mindset of many regenerative ag farmers. His thorough research has allowed the remarkably FAST adoption of more advanced practices. Focusing upon what he wants to nurture vs. what he wants to kill, well-thought out plans of practice adoption, solid business planning, and SEEKING OUT MENTORS is making rapid change on his family's small farm.

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Learning from experience soil heath farmers can help shape applied research to help address challenges from farmers newer to regenerative ag. That same critical thinking can be applied to teaching the next generation of growers and agronomists, Dan Quinn, Purdue Extension Corn Specialist, and Susan Brocksmith, Vincennes University Business Division Dean, share their experiences, observations, and the practical application of soil h...

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Among other things, Purdue Corn Specialist Dan Quinn and Vincennes University Business Division Dean Susan Brocksmith talk about how round table discussions with experience soil health farmers can help tailor applied research and education of ag students.

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Cover crops can be a great management tool for vegetable production. Steven Meyers, Purdue Horticulture Asst. Prof. of Weed Science, and Dan Perkins, Perkins Good Earth Farms discuss best practices for termination, residue management, direct seeding, and transplanting when using covers.

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No matter how extensively you checked and adjusted your planter over the winter, there are always "game-time" adjustments that will be needed. Barry Fisher, recently retired from NRCS and AJ Adkins, NTM Agriculture, discuss the settings and adjustments they feel are critical to getting a solid stand when no-tilling and/or using cover crops.

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From financial to operational to managerial - there are a lot of decisions a farmer has to make before adopting a conservation practice. Understanding that is critical for anyone working with farmers - conservationists, agronomists, and land managers. Indiana farmer Rodney Rulon and Indiana NRCS State Conservationists Jerry Raynor talk about their passions for conservation - and how to help farmers work through decisions about maki...

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Just a few years ago, commercial tomato growers might have said, "You can't use cover crops in tomato production." Things have certainly changed. James Rice from Wanatah, IN and Curt Utterback, Senior Agriculture Coordinator for Red Gold talk about how they both use cover crops in their various crop rotations along with the management considerations they have for managing cover crops and other soil health practices.

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Chuck Mohler, AKA "Sweet Corn Charlie" and Joe Rorick, CCSI Agronomist, talk about the many benefits of diversity in production, including use of a wide mix of cover crops - better tasting produce, disease suppression, and nutrient efficiency, just to name a few.

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Explaining soil health investments to your ag lender can be challenging for some farmers. Join Indiana farmer Ken Rulon (Rulon Enterprises) and Kansas Farmer Keith Berns (Green Cover Seed) as they dig deeper into the numbers on economic returns. Thanks to the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Soybean Alliance for supporting this episode!

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Explaining soil health investments to your ag lender can be challenging for some farmers. Join Indiana farmer Ken Rulon (Rulon Enterprises) and Kansas Farmer Keith Berns (Green Cover Seed) as they give advice on talking to loan officers - especially if you're relatively new to a soil health practice. Thanks to the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Soybean Alliance for supporting this episode!

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The soil microbiome - the invisible part of the soil - relates directly to the health and quality of plants. Dr. Lori Hoagland, Purdue University and Dan Perkins, Perkins Good Earth Farm, discuss their investigations into composts - specifically leaf mould - on soil microbiome communities and performance... and plant performance.

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Buckle up. There's a lot to unpack in this conversation with David Brandt's 50 year soil health journey. The listen is worth it... and then some. Brandt's focus on soil health systems and continuing willingness to learn and expand his knowledge has provided the farm with economic stability, the ability to weather global weirding, and allowed the operation to bring younger generations on - even in the face or urbanizat...

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