The Soil Health Partnership is into its second full year, developing a network of farms in the Midwest that continue to innovate management practices. The Partnership is a combination of effort funded by Monsanto and the Walton Foundation and organized through the National Corn Growers Association. Click here for their website.
The aim is to lessen drainage of field nutrients into waterways leading eventually to the Gulf of Mexico. The strategies include nutrient management and cover crops, including annual ryegrass. The research on these 100 plus farms will continue to expand, and participating growers are starting with small acreage – 20 to 80 acres. “Cover crops are critical,” said Dan Towery, who is a consultant to the project. He said that threats of legal action by some Iowa counties against farmers allowing excessive nitrates leach into waterways is creating added urgency.