Farmer interest and innovation in cover cropping is reaching new heights as witnessed by hundreds of farmer attendees at 2 farm events organized by the PA No-Till Alliance in late August. Upgrades and improvements in equipment – many of them designed by farmers – provide almost unsurpassed control in cover cropping and reseeding into no-tilled soils.
Soil Health aficionados like to say that roots and worms make channels down into the soil – transferring nutrients and carbon between soil layers. What this looks like in reality was made clear at a recent Soil Health field-day in Berwick, PA, sponsored by NRCS and the PA No-till Alliance, with crop consultant Gerard Troisi and soil tester Will Brinton from Woods End Lab, Maine. A soil pit dug in the triticale cover
“They are actually growing soil here”, John Chibirka (USDA-NRCS PA) told the 19th annual Cover Crop and Soil Health gathering of 300 farmers on Steve Groff’s no-till-cover crop farm in Holtwood PA. He was referring to when the 2006 World Soil Congress visited Steve’s farm and found by in situ tests that 20 years of cover-cropping and no-till had resulted in formation of new soil overlaying the topsoil. To the north,