Cornell Cooperative Extension in partnership with USDA NRCS, the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee, The Watershed Agricultural Council, and Schoharie Valley Farms will be hosting a Soil Health Field Day – Building Better Soils With Cover Crops, September 3, 2015 in farm fields at Fox Creek Park 495 N Main Street (State Rt. 30) Schoharie NY. The event will be held rain or shine under tents and pavilions, starting from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM with registration beginning at 9:30 AM.
The program of speakers, demonstrations, and cover crop plots is designed for all farms including livestock, dairy, row crop and vegetable farms. Pre-registration is required by August 26th by calling 315-866-7920 or visiting http://cnydfc.cce.cornell.edu/event.php?id=260. Please indicate if you require special accommodations when you register. Cost for the day is $15 per person and includes lunch.
The keynote presentation by national renowned NRCS soil health expert, Ray Archuleta, a dynamic speaker who will address the important role of cover crops in soil health. Cornell University soil scientist Emily Reiss, will explain what emerging science is telling us about how cover crops change the soil. Cornell Cooperative Extension Field Crop Specialist Dr. Kitty O’Neil will discuss the roles of cover crops, manure and reduced tillage in a comprehensive approach to soil health.
The field day will also feature soil health demonstrations as well as guided tours of over 35 plots of warm and cool season cover crops species. Industry, Cornell University, and Extension experts will be on hand to discuss production and uses of cover crops for soil health and livestock forage. Participants will also see examples of strip-till and no-till equipment and talk with extension specialists and farmers that use these systems.
Soil health has been given special attention by the United Nations by declaring 2015, “International Year of Soils”. We depend on soil as a basic resource for our survival. Even though farmers continually improve their soil stewardship with less tillage and new machinery, interest in soil health is at an all-time high. Productive soils are lost to development, and farmers are expected to grow more crops on a shrinking resource. Farmers need to improve the soils that they have left to them. Cover crops and tillage systems are helping farmers improve soil health and crop production.
The Soil Health Field Day on September 3rd will give farmers a chance to see a variety of new cover crops and forages; learn how other farmers are including cover crops in their operations; and hear the latest from University researchers.
The Soil Health Field day is sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension, USDA NRCS, and the Watershed Agricultural Council with funding from a USDA Conservation Innovation Grant and cooperation from Seedway, LLC and King’s Agriseeds Inc.
—Cornell Cooperative Extension Albany County