Urban Soil Health High Tunnel Field Event JULY 15, 2023 2-4 p.m.
Property of Gideon Nobbe 12399 King Road Argos, IN 46501 RSVP 574-936-2024 ext. 3
Interested in a High Tunnel?
High tunnels can
Extend the growing season
Improve plant quality and soil quality
Reduce nutrient and pesticide transportation
Improve air quality through reduced transportation inputs
Reduce energy use by providing consumers with a local source of fresh produce
High tunnels protect plants from severe weather and allow farmers to extend their growing seasons – growing earlier into the spring, later into the fall, and sometimes, year-round. And because high tunnels prevent direct rainfall from reaching plants, farmers can use precise tools like drip irrigation to efficiently deliver water and nutrients to plants. High tunnels also offer farmers a greater ability to control pests and can even protect plants from pollen and pesticide drift.
A number of soil health practices can be used in high tunnels, including cover crops and crop rotations, which also prevent erosion, suppress weeds, increase soil water content, and break pest cycles.
Perhaps the best thing about high tunnels is that they help farmers provide their communities with healthy local food for much of the year – food that requires less energy and transportation inputs.
What will you learn at this field day?
Jamie, Troy and Gideon can answer questions you may have about growing crops in this kind of environment, from soil health to choice of plant species and challenges that you may encounter along the way. Troy will be answering questions about NRCS programs to help fund the installation of these structures.
Cover Crop Field Day - Location and Time TBA (Fall Spring/Fall 2023)
What is a Cover Crop?
An herbaceous plant, such as grasses, forbs, and legumes that are established for seasonal cover, and for conservation and soil health purposes. They are generally planted in late summer or fall after harvest and depending on the species either winter kill or are terminated in the spring before planting. Some species allow the farmer to plant green, or no-till plant primary crops into actively growing cover crops.
What specific plants are used for Cover Crops in Indiana?
There are a variety of plants used for cover crops throughout Indiana. It largely depends on what your goals are what you should plant. Do you want to graze cattle on it or are you interested in spring weed suppression? Do you want it to winter kill, or will you terminate in the spring or plant green? Are your main problems compaction or erosion control? Your goals will determine which plants will best suit your needs. Common plants used for cover crops in Indiana include: Cereal Rye, Triticale, Barley, Wheat, Hairy Vetch, Annual Ryegrass, White Clover, Crimson Clover, Rapeseed, Turnips, Radishes, Oats, Sorgum-sudan, Millet, Buckwheat and Sun Hemp.
What are the benefits of Cover Crops?
There are a host of benefits that can be gained through the use of cover crops. The specific benefits you desire
to achieve will help determine which cover crops you use. Benefits include: reduced soil erosion, weed suppression, increased soil porosity and infiltration, reduction of soil compaction, nutrient scavenging and/or production, and increased organic matter; all which result in improved soil health and protection of water quality.
What to expect at the field day?
This cover crop field day will give attendees an opportunity to see a field planted with cover crops after wheat. Several species mixes will be planted to provide an example of what to expect, In addition, cover crop professionals and farmers with experience in the use of cover crops will be available to answer questions and share their successes.
RiverWatch Training - Location and Time TBA (Spring/Summer 2023)
The stated mission of IDEMs RiverWatch program is: "To involve the citizens of Indiana in becoming active stewards of Indiana's water resources through watershed education, water monitoring, and clean-up activities." It's a great opportunity for members of the community to get to know their local rivers and streams and the challenges that go along with maintaining these valuable resources.
The RiverWatch Workshop will train you to test for basic water-quality parameters like dissolved oxygen, total phosphorus, pH, E. coli bacteria and others. It will also teach you how to sample for and identify aquatic insects, and how the the species found can give an indication of the quality of the water and local habitat.
Training is free and students high school age and older are welcome.
Agricultural Nutrient Management - Location and Time TBA (Winter 2022)
This workshop is still under development.