SHP News Releases

Soil Health Partnership Expands into Tennessee

Soil Health Partnership Expands into Tennessee

By SHP Staff on Thursday, 28 May, 2020

The Soil Health Partnership and The Nature Conservancy are pleased to announce the expansion into Tennessee through foundational support from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Through a collaborative effort to bring the SHP network to Tennessee, 16 farmers will be signed up to participate in one of two trial setups. The Strip Trials use a control and treatment randomized across eight strips. Each strip is designed to be a few combine widths wide so that it will reduce implementation errors and allow farmers to have more flexibility and have the trial design to best fit their equipment. The Side-by-side Trials bring a broader group of farmers into the SHP network. Side-by-side Trials support SHP’s mission by including more cropping systems and geographies, as well as strengthening the breadth and depth of the data. 

“We are excited about the interest we have received from Tennessee growers. This expansion would not have been possible without the collaboration across numerous organizations. Our first priority is enrolling growers, and SHP is eager to address soil health concerns specific to Tennessee,” said Jack Cornell, SHP Field Team Director.

“One of our key priorities at TDA is stewardship of natural resources,” Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “The improvement of our soil health is vital to crop and forage productivity. We are pleased to work alongside the Soil Health Partnership to lessen erosion and improve water quality.”

SHP will collect soil health data, yield data, farm management, and economic data for all sites. The data collected from the Tennessee partner and associate sites will be integrated with SHP’s multi-state database to contribute to aggregated data insights. All data collected from Tennessee farmers will be delivered back to participating farmers via soil test reports, yield reports, and other outputs in order to provide actionable information to aid farmers as they make decisions and manage for improving soil health.

“By 2050, we’re on track to increase to a world population of nearly 10 billion. To feed that many people, global food production will have to increase by 60 percent. We will have to rely on our Tennessee farmers as never before and cutting-edge science and conservation will play a key role,” said Alex Wyss, Director of Conservation, The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee.

“Tennessee Natural Resources Conservation Services is excited about this opportunity to collaborate with the SHP in this farmer-led initiative to help producers understand the benefits of improving soil health on their farm,” said Sheldon Hightower, Tennessee NRCS State Conservationist. “We currently have three producers in Robertson and Dyer counties enrolled in the SHP and we are looking to expand our participation to increase soil health production and land stewardship across Tennessee.”

SHP will collaborate with various partners in the state including Tennessee Corn Growers Association, Tennessee Soybean and The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee to maximize messaging on soil health management systems and provide learnings from the trials in the state.

If you are a Tennessee farmer interested in learning more about SHP, check out our online resources and sign up for our newsletter. We have on-farm research trial site openings, we will reach out to Tennessee farmers who have signed up for our newsletter if they select that they are interested in having a research site. You can also send an email to Jack Cornell, the SHP Field Team Director at cornell@ncga.com if you are interested in learning more. 

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About the Soil Health Partnership

The Soil Health Partnership is a farmer-led initiative that promotes the adoption of soil health practices for economic and environmental benefit. A program of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the partnership extends to more than 200 working farms in 16 states.  While building a peer-to-peer network, SHP collects on-farm data to evaluate the impacts of soil health practices on the soil, the environment, and the farmer’s bottom line. For more information, visit https://soilhealthpartnership.org.

Media Contact:

Stacie McCracken, SHP Communications Lead, mccracken@ncga.com