Missouri farmers join national initiative to improve soil health

4 months 4 weeks 2 days ago Saturday, November 25 2017 Nov 25, 2017 Saturday, November 25, 2017 6:34:00 PM CST November 25, 2017 in News
By: Danielle Katz, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

CENTRALIA – Six Missouri farms have joined more than a hundred farmers across the U.S. in the Soil Health Partnership, an initiative of the National Corn Growers Association.

The initiative brings together federal agencies, national companies and farmers to work toward a shared goal of improving soil health.

Brian Martin, a farmer from Centralia, joined the initiative this year. The Soil Health Partnership approached him to participate. Martin said it was an honor.

“To be selected and to participate is something that I’m not only passionate about as a producer but as the future of our ag industry to be able to be sustainable, to feed the country,” he said.

Martin has grown corn and soybeans on his own farm since shortly after he started college. Farming is his family trade.

“It’s something that I want to pass down to the future generation,” Martin said. “It’s something that my dad’s doing and my grandfather did and his father before him.”

Martin said he hopes his five-year participation will show, not only sustainability, but also a return on an investment.

“Farming is a way of life, but it’s still a business, and it has to be profitable,” Martin said. “We all want to improve our soil health, but we have to prove it in a way that the rest of the country and operators adopt it in a way that’s sustainable.”

He uses cover crops, a method of planting crops in the fall and winter when there are no cash crops. Darrick Steen, Missouri Soybean Association director of environmental programs, said this is done to make sure something’s always growing to maintain the ecosystem of the soil.

The practice is not new, but it’s not widespread, he said. Fewer farmers use it because of the time and expense from planting and then not being able to sell the crops.

Steen said this project is unique, because it is conducted on private, family-owned farms, rather than typical research or university settings.

“If we’re not focusing on the need of the farmer, then whatever we’re doing may or may not be applicable or helpful,” Steen said.

The partnership also has big names funding and guidance, including Monsanto, the Walton Family Foundation, General Mills and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“They are all involved, because we all share a common vision on this,” Steen said. “There’s a lot of momentum in this space and a lot of desire to move the pendulum forward.”

He said this is a long-term effort and expects to have a rich data set after the five years.

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Cardinals (15-9) wrapped up their three-game series with the New York Mets (15-8) in... More >>
7 minutes ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 5:41:26 PM CDT April 26, 2018 in Sports
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Missouri now has 10 cases of measles, including three students, according to health officials. The... More >>
9 minutes ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 5:38:45 PM CDT April 26, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Republican Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard says he has not yet decided whether to... More >>
12 minutes ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 5:35:58 PM CDT April 26, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri civil engineers graded Missouri roads a D+ in their latest report card. That's down from a... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 3:25:00 PM CDT April 26, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The growing number of school shootings is prompting mid-Missouri educators to take a close look at what they... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 3:13:00 PM CDT April 26, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia Public School community service project that has students removing invasive honeysuckle is on hold after $700... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 3:05:00 PM CDT April 26, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Republican Party is seeking to boot four candidates from the primary ballot, including two... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 1:11:55 PM CDT April 26, 2018 in News
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Bill Cosby has been convicted of drugging and molesting a woman in first big celebrity trial... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 12:57:04 PM CDT April 26, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The Missouri Department of Natural Resources plans to return $575,000 it received for two new state parks... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 12:25:42 PM CDT April 26, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The state auditor's office released a report Thursday detailing what it found to be "questionable communications and... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 11:01:28 AM CDT April 26, 2018 in News
SUMNER – The average wild Canada goose’s wingspan is 4.2 to 5.6 feet, according to National Geographic . Maxie ,... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 10:30:00 AM CDT April 26, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis judge has turned down a request from attorneys for Missouri Republican Gov. Eric... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 10:24:00 AM CDT April 26, 2018 in News
SPANISH LAKE (AP) — Police said they discovered the bodies of two men and a woman inside a suburban St.... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 9:18:00 AM CDT April 26, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A rollover crash on the I-70 outer road early Thursday morning sent two people to the hospital. ... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 8:28:00 AM CDT April 26, 2018 in News
STRAFFORD (AP) — Authorities say a homeless hitchhiker has died from a stab wound that he suffered while scuffling with... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 7:43:30 AM CDT April 26, 2018 in News
SPANISH LAKE (AP) — Authorities are investigating after three people were killed and a woman was injured in suburban St.... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 7:37:21 AM CDT April 26, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A man is suffering from a gunshot wound after an argument in the parking lot of the... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 4:40:00 AM CDT April 26, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Gentry Middle School parent-teacher association gave students a chance to learn yoga Thursday. "We're helping them... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 11:00:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
6pm 68°
7pm 67°
8pm 64°
9pm 61°