Digging In

Iowa Corn Promotion Board® steps up as first SHP Data Supporter
Thursday, 23 May, 2019

Iowa Corn Promotion Board® steps up as first SHP Data Supporter

At the core of SHP’s mission is our ability to create, collect, and integrate data.  This is no easy task. We collect at least 165 disparate variables from our partner farms. Those data come from a wide range of sources without any natural integration so we manually pull together this information.  Adding our growing number of Associate sites to the mix means we are awash in data. The need to develop automated integration is necessary to allow SHP to scale to include more farmers, more practices, more acres. However, there is not an “off the shelf” solution and the construction of such a system is necessary.

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Who's That?
Monday, 20 May, 2019

Who's That?

This summer the Soil Health Partnership welcomes two interns to the staff, Margaret Lindsay and Emily Keiser. They will be focusing their time with the SHP team for the summer as well as taking part in many events with NCGA.

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Grazing during a wet Spring
Thursday, 16 May, 2019

Grazing during a wet Spring

Planting annuals in between cash cropping systems can be a great way to produce extra forage and extend the grazing season. And one of the simplest techniques to do this across the Midwest is to plant cereal rye after a corn crop ahead of next year’s soybeans. Cereal rye is very winter hardy and can be a source of forage for a 2- to 3-week jumpstart on your spring pasture, or to save the grass for later grazing. And when grazed at the right stages, cereal rye can be an excellent forage.

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Out in the Field: Soil Sampling
Thursday, 09 May, 2019

Out in the Field: Soil Sampling

The season of soil sampling has begun at SHP! The daffodils have bloomed, the robins are chirping, and soon ATVs with a soil prob, iPad, and many tiny bags will be taking to the field. Spring has always been a busy time for SHP as we gear up for the thousands of soil samples that will be cored, bagged, shipped, and processed for our dataset. Every year we get a little closer glimpse at what our soils are doing in the Midwest.

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No time to till?  Why not no-till?
Thursday, 02 May, 2019

No time to till? Why not no-till?

For many of you in the Midwest, 2018 brought some challenges. Lots of rain, lots of snow and lots of moisture that made harvest and any sort of fieldwork difficult.  Many of the farmers we talked to didn’t get the chance to complete all of their fall tillage due to poor field conditions. This spring hasn’t been much better, bringing snow and rain to many areas, meaning lots of mud and delayed planting progress.  It’s already May so hopefully, planters have already started or will start hitting the field here in the coming weeks as time will be limited.

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