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Soil Health/Cover Crop Tour


Soil Health/Cover Crop Tour



A Soil Health/Cover Crop tour recently took place August 27-28 in Burleigh County, North Dakota.  Tour participants included Minnesota farmers, Minnesota Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS),  University of Minnesota Extension, Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) employees and supervisors; Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) and the Land Stewardship Project.

Tour participants visited the farms of three operators and learned how soil health became an intricate part of their farming operation.  Josh Dukart and Darrell Oswald, Burleigh Soil Conservation District (SCD) employees and Jay Fuhrer, NRCS district conservationist, shared their office philosophy on how Soil Health concepts were applied to Burleigh County.

The following Points were key to the Burleigh County success:

  1. The district office personnel and any other supporting individuals developed a team approach.
  2. You must work with the cooperators  along with family and other members of the operation. 
  3. You plan and apply a Soil Health Conservation Plan; one field at a time.

During the tour, the agricultural producers mentioned they had not received rain for 8 weeks. The tour participants observed the cover crop fields were not moisture stressed.  For example, it was observed in a Sunflower field ( inter-seeded with a 10 species cover-crop mix) that  there was very little moisture stress.  Farmers utilizing Soil Health management in their pastures have noticed more frogs, insects, and other species of wildlife. 

The Minnesota group came away energized and with a sense of purpose.  The group talked of soil health priorities and work objectives on how to bring Soil Health and Sustainability to the fields and pastures of Minnesota.

The Minnesota Soil Health/Cover Crop tour participants appreciated the opportunity to learn from the Burleigh SCD and ND NRCS.  For additional information regarding the Soil Health/Cover Crops tour please contact Douglas Miller, Area Resource Soil Scientist at (952)-492-2636.