NEWS from CCSI / For Release on Friday, August 1, 2014
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For more information, contact:
Lisa Holscher, soil health program manager
 
CCSI Contacts:  
Hans Kok, Coordinator
Dan Towery, Assistant Coordinator 
Barry Fisher, NRCS State Soil Health Specialist 
Lisa Holscher, Soil Health Program Manager 
 

CCSI Partners:
"As the Worm Turns - A Soil Health Saga" Field Day Brings Unique Soil Demonstrations to Indiana

 

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - On August 25th, Indiana farmers and others from the ag industry will have the opportunity to see the benefits of no-till and cover crop systems illustrated in a visual, interactive way. Roger Wenning, a farmer affiliated with the Indiana Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative (CCSI) and chairman of the Decatur County Soil & Water Conservation District board, will host the "As the Worm Turns - A Soil Health Saga" field day at his farm in Greensburg.

 

Roger Wenning, host of
Roger Wenning, host of "As the Worm Turns - A Soil Health Saga," pictured here with family members.

Roger Wenning has been featured in the ag media for his efforts

 in soil health on his land. Through a no-till and cover crop system,

 he has increased his soil's organic matter from 1-1.5% to 2.3%, increasing the water holding capacity of the soil, reducing the nutrients lost, and improving its resiliency during flood and drought.  

 

Among other soil health advocates and conservationists, the field day will feature Frank Gibbs, a Certified Professional Soil Scientist and Certified Crop Advisor known for unique field demonstrations. One of his signature demonstrations is making soil "smoke" to show how earthworms improve soil quality and internal drainage.

 

Frank Gibbs
Frank Gibbs, Certified Professional Soil Scientist

Gibbs' smoke test is a powerful visual demonstration of the impacts of conservation cropping systems. Gibbs pumps smoke through the tile in long-term no-till soil and the smoke rises to the surface through earthworm channels and macropores. Dave Robison of Williams County Indiana, and creator of PlantCoverCrops.com provides a video for those unfamiliar with this concept.

 

 

Wenning said,  "When I saw the video from one of Frank's demonstrations, I thought it was very intriguing. We've been doing field days here for several years and thought we'd show something different, and Frank's different."

 

In addition to the smoke demonstration, Hans Kok of Indiana

Earthworms provide tillage - these earthworms loved the mix of crimson clover, radishes, and buckwheat cover crops. Photo: Mike Hall, Crawford SWCD
Earthworms provide tillage - these earthworms loved the mix of crimson clover, radishes, and buckwheat cover crops. Photo: Mike Hall, Crawford SWCD

 Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative will also use a rain simulator. These presentations will help attendees to see the effects of a long-term no-till system on soil. Kok said, "In a long-term no-till system, especially one that incorporates cover crops, earthworms and old root paths form an intricate web of channels that help soil to act like a sponge for water and nutrients. With this kind of system, earthworms really are a tillage tool of choice."

 

The "As the Worm Turns - A Soil Health Saga" field day will be held at Roger Wenning's Farm in Greensburg, IN, from 9 am to 4:30 pm. The event is free but registration is required by August 20th. A full agenda, directions, and registration is available at www.WenningFieldDay14.eventbrite.com.

 

 

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