Conversations go a long way to improve soil health

By Steven Schauer for Peninsula Pride Farms

ALGOMA, Wis. — Casual conversations are making a difference for farmers in southern Door and Kewaunee counties. Peninsula Pride Farms (PPF) started hosting informal events known as Conservation Conversations this year and the benefits have been invaluable.

On Nov. 3, farmers and custom operators gathered at a field farmed by Ebert Enterprises to discuss manure application strategies on winter cereal crops after corn silage. Nearly two dozen agriculture professionals met to look at planting a cover crop after applying manure with minimal soil disturbance in anticipation of next year’s planting.

Nick Guilette, conservation coordinator at Ebert Enterprises and Certified Crop Adviser, presented and discussed the effectiveness of applying manure using low-disturbance methods prior to planting a cover crop because of the numerous benefits. He shared that:

  • Saving the soil structure is the goal
  • Taking one pass with a terra disc in the spring means less tillage
  • Conservation practices increases earthworm activity and improves soil biology
  • The hope in spring is that there is an established cover and root structure on the field
  • Gives farmers the option to use cover crops as an additional forage
  • Spring plan is to plant earlier because of fall conservation practices

PPF has hosted a variety of Conservation Conversations this year covering a variety of topics including: planting into green, grass waterways, cover crops, interseeding and low disturbance manure applications.

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