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Last week, the Soil Health Partnership and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) co-hosted a field day for U.S. Senate and House Agriculture Committee staff at Harborview Farms in Rock Hall, Md. Staffers had the opportunity to learn about soil health management practices being implemented at Harborview Farms.

Harborview Farms owner and operator Trey Hill explained the need to improve soil management practices with each generation. He discussed how being a pioneer in the industry has affected his farm. Hill utilizes cover crops and no till, and experiments with roller crimper tools to find ways to increase soil health and profitability on his farm.

Congressional staffers got out in the field to witness how diverse cover crop species impact soil health. Staffers spoke with SHP Field Managers to understand the close relationship between SHP farmers and Field Managers. They also learned about the challenges facing growers who decide to change their management systems to focus more on soil health. Some of these challenges include changing or upgrading equipment, changing planting and harvesting timelines, adjusting for different pest and weed pressures, and figuring out how to pay for it all.

SHP Lead Scientist Maria Bowman explained the unique role SHP plays in providing technical assistance to farmers like Hill.

The field day was held in collaboration with the University of Maryland’s Department of Environmental Sciences and Technology along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory.