Cotton Farmer Showcase

Eight informative discussions with farmers & specialists

The Soil Health Institute (SHI), the non-profit charged with safeguarding and enhancing the vitality and productivity of soils, invites you to join eight online discussions with U.S. cotton farmers and soil health experts who are improving soil health and evaluating its return on investment.

The Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton Farmer Showcase events will be livestreamed beginning 2 p.m. (EST), Tuesday, February 2, 2021 and run every Tuesday through March.  Cotton producers, consultants and other interested parties may register one time to participate in each showcase and receive notifications for each event. Registration is free but required to participate.

Learn more and register here.

HEALTHY SOILS FOR SUSTAINABLE COTTON FARMER SHOWCASE
Illuminating Discussions with Cotton Growers and Leaders on Improving Soil Health in Eight States

BUILDING SOIL HEALTH – THE FOUNDATION OF REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE

Episode 1 Date Speakers
Soil Health Challenges in the Delta: What Works and What Doesn’t February 2, 2021 Mr. Sledge Taylor, Farmer, Como, MS
Mr. Parker Frew, Delta F.A.R.M.

SPOTLIGHT ON MISSISSIPPI

The Delta, with its fine-grained, dark soils and sometimes significant pressures from tough weeds such as Palmer amaranth or extreme weather such as a slow-moving hurricane, demands special skills from its cotton growers.

  • Improving internal soil drainage
  • Capturing more rainfall in the soil profile
  • Increasing soil organic matter
Episode 2 Date Speakers
Soil Health in Texas: Lessons from Long-term Study Sites February 9, 2021 Dr. Paul DeLaune, Texas AgriLife Professor Environmental Soil Science

Dr. Jamie Foster, Texas AgriLife Professor Forages

Dr. Katie Lewis, Texas AgriLife Associate Professor Soil Fertility and Chemistry

HIGH PLAINS REGION

Dr. Murilo Maeda, Texas AgriLife Assistant Professor and Cotton Specialist

Dr. Jourdan Bell, Texas AgriLife Associate Professor and Extension Specialist

Mr. Jeremy Brown, Farmer, Lubbock, TX

Mr. Barry Evans, Farmer, Lubbock, TX

ROLLING PLAINS REGION

Dr. Emi Kimura, Assistant Professor, Texas AgriLife Agronomist and Extension State Peanut Specialist

SOUTH TEXAS REGION

Dr. Josh McGinty, Texas AgriLife Associate Professor and Extension Specialist

SPOTLIGHT ON TEXAS

Explore the local challenges and benefits of adopting practices to improve soil health across Texas. Farmers’ experiences are compared to lessons from Texas A&M long-term study sites.

  • Managing cover crops to minimize water use
  • Improving soil moisture levels
  • Increasing soil organic matter levels
Episode 3 Date Speakers
Soil Health in Arkansas: Is it Profitable? February 16, 2021 Dr. Bill Robertson, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Cotton Agronomist

Mr. Matt Fryer, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Soil Instructor

Mr. Adam Chappell, Farmer, Cotton Plant, AR

Mr. Jess Flye, Farmer, Trumann, AR

Mr. Wes Kirkpatrick, Farmer, Dumas, AR

SPOTLIGHT ON ARKANSAS

Three cotton producers with different levels of experience related to soil health practices and activities – as well as different views about tillage and cover crops – discuss growing cotton and farming for soil health in Arkansas. This webinar dives into economic data as well.

  • Addressing resistant Palmer pigweed pressures
  • Improving water infiltration
  • Reducing crusting
  • Reducing expenses for profitability
Episode 4 Date Speakers
Improving Soil Health in a Dry Climate February 23, 2021 Dr. Jeff Mitchell, University of California, Davis

Mr. John Teixeira, Farmer, Firebaugh, CA

Mr. Gary Martin, Farmer, Mendota, CA

Mr. Cary Crum, California Ag Solutions Crop Consultant, Madera, CA

SPOTLIGHT ON CALIFORNIA

Growers in a dry climate face specific cotton production challenges as they manage for moisture and overcome low organic matter, especially if they strive to build ecologically sensitive farming systems. California producers and soil health experts evaluate the best practices that hold promise in the state.

  • Managing cover crops in an organic system
  • Using soil amendments to improve soil (poultry and compost)
Episode 5 Date Speakers
Soil Health in a Cotton and Peanut Rotation March 2, 2021 Mr. Peyton Sapp, University of Georgia, Burke County Extension Coordinator

Mr. Burton Heatwole, Farmer, Millen, GA

SPOTLIGHT ON GEORGIA

When cotton growers rotate with peanuts, they obviously navigate a less-traveled journey toward improved soil health, focusing on strategic crop rotation, best timing of cover crops, and balanced nutrient uptake. In this episode of Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton Farmer Showcase, Georgia growers discuss practices that work well in their efforts to enhance long-term sustainability.

  • Increasing soil organic matter
  • Assessing benefits of multi-species cover crops
  • Capturing more rainfall in the soil profile

 

Episode 6 Date Speakers
Soil Health: View from the Cotton Gin March 9, 2021 Mr. Robbie Waters, Edwards Cotton Company, Scotland Neck, NC

Mr. Zeb Winslow, Farmer, Scotland Neck, NC

SPOTLIGHT ON NORTH CAROLINA AND VIRGINIA

When you’ve evaluated cotton bales for years and built relationships with area cotton producers, you’re bound to have insight into which production practices pay year-after-year. In this episode, we ask a local cotton ginner to share his perspective of soil health benefits for the area’s cotton producers. Then, we talk with a local producer about his experiences, especially focusing on cover crop seeding and termination.

  • Does improving soil health impact cotton quality?
  • Planting and terminating cover crops to reduce cost and maximize benefits
Episode 7 Date Speakers
Lessons from 8 Years of Regenerative Agriculture March 16, 2021 Dr. Buz Kloot, Research Associate Professor, University of South Carolina

Mr. Doug Newton, Farmer, Clio, SC

Mr. Jason Carter, Farmer, Eastover, SC

SPOTLIGHT ON THE CAROLINAS

After multiple years of experimentation and learning from their cotton fields, these producers discuss how to maximize the impact of soil health promoting practices on their Coastal Plain soils.

  • Improving a degraded nutrient cycle
  • Increasing soil organic matter
  • Reducing resistant weed pressure
Episode 8 Date Speakers
Why Soil Health is Important to the Future of U.S. Cotton March 23, 2021 Regenerative Agriculture Leaders:

Dr. Wayne Honeycutt, Soil Health Institute

Mr. Greg Bohrer, Walmart.org

Dr. Jesse Daystar, Cotton Incorporated

 

SPOTLIGHT ON REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE

This conversation asks important questions of key regenerative agriculture leaders:

  • Why are companies becoming so interested in soil health?
  • Do data support that consumers are demanding regenerative practices? Are they willing to pay more for them?
  • Will soil health and regenerative agriculture practices be mandatory in the future?
  • Will growers see any financial reimbursements or incentives?

The Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton Farmer Showcase is part of the Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton project, which provides farmer-focused education and training events delivered by Soil Health Institute scientists, partnering with local soil health technical specialists and farmer mentors who have implemented successful soil health management systems. The project aims to increase the adoption of soil health management systems among cotton producers while documenting environmental and economic benefits.

Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton is supported through the generosity of the Wrangler® brand, the VF Corporation Foundation and the Walmart Foundation. For more information about the project, visit https://soilhealthinstitute.org/soil-health-training/.  To register and learn more about the virtual Farmer Showcase events, visit https://soilhealthinstitute.org/soil-health-training/farmer-showcase/.

See the news release.

Addressing change and challenge in manure applications

2020 certainly brought a lot of change and challenge for agriculture producers. While the pandemic forced Discovery Farms Programs in Wisconsin and Minnesota to cancel the annual conference, farmers, soil conservationists and crop consultants were still able to take advantage of educational opportunities online.

The theme for this year’s Discovery Farms’ weekly virtual conference series is “Keeping up with your conservation goals through change and challenge.”

A recent conference featured Dr. Christine Morgan of the Soil Health Institute in North Carolina who described soil health as the capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem sustaining plants and animals. She notes that there are very different soils in different parts of the country or even within a state. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t all be healthy and productive.

As part of her work at the institute, she and colleagues have examined 124 samples across the country demonstrating different soil and practices.

“To measure this we look at how each part of soil health was affected by various management systems: rotation diversity, crop count, organic amendments (manure), cover crops, decreased tillage; and residue retention,” she said.

Read the full story here: https://www.wisfarmer.com/story/news/2021/01/13/addressing-change-and-challenge-manure-applications/6592424002/