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Event to teach health of soil

by Special to The Commercial | May 16, 2022 at 4:03 a.m.
Karen Washington shows the compost soil used at La Finca del Sur, a community farm, in the Bronx borough of New York in this Oct. 28, 2010 file photo. (AP/Frank Franklin II)

Soil health is a critical component of crop success for growers. Arkansas farmers will have a chance to learn and implement soil practices at the Soil Health Field Day and Training at the Adam Chappell Farm in Cotton Plant from 9:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. May 25.

The event is sponsored by the Arkansas Soil Health Alliance in conjunction with the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Cooperative Extension Service, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

Chappell is a Woodruff County farmer and president of the Arkansas Soil Health Alliance. He has extensive experience implementing soil practices such as cover crops, minimum tillage, nutrient management and the addition of soil microbiological inoculants, according to a news release from the Division of Agriculture.

Since 2013, these soil health practices have been an important element of Chappell's farming philosophy, and he has been able to increase profitability by reducing irrigation, fertilizer, herbicide and other inputs, according to the release.

"This field day will allow farmers to see first-hand how Adam has implemented his system and how it might translate to increased profitability for other farmers," said Mike Daniels, extension professor of soil and water conservation.

Daniels said the field day will provide farmers with training on equipment modifications for soil health, composting efforts to feed soil microbes, and changes in soil and water relationships, such as infiltration and increased water storage. Chappell, along with extension and NRCS specialists, will also provide information about improving soil health using cover crops and minimum tillage.

Chappell will conduct a live demonstration of planting into standing cover crops. Steve Stevens, a Desha County farmer and member of the Soil Health Alliance, will also share his soil health successes.

Certified crop adviser continuing education credits will be available for attendees. Lunch will be provided free. Participants should register online at at .

To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact a local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit Follow the agency on Twitter and Instagram at @AR_Extension.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible people without discrimination.

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