OFRF, in partnership with the Pure Assets Conservation Service (NRCS), has co-created a webinar collection targeted on soil well being and natural farming. This collection is facilitated by Jennifer Ryan and Lindsay Haines of NRCS and Thelma Velez and Mary Hathaway of OFRF. Every of the webinars is led by Mark Schonbeck, OFRF’s Analysis Affiliate. Matters lined on this collection embody soil well being, nutrient administration, weed administration, cowl crops, plant genetics, water administration, conservation tillage, and local weather resilience. Every webinar shares natural farming practices and analysis findings, and plenty of share tales of farmer experiences in natural farming as they pertain to the subject of the precise webinar within the collection.
The USDA has made all of the recordings out there totally free, yow will discover them right here.
Webinar 1: Why “Natural” Issues – Soil Natural Matter, Soil Well being and USDA-Licensed Natural Farming
Soil is a residing system that cycles vitamins and provides crops with important vitamins. Natural farmers should deal with constructing soil natural matter (SOM), returning crop residues to the soil, and utilizing fertilizers of natural origin. After a short historical past of natural farming, this webinar focuses on soil natural matter: the character of soil natural matter, its relationship to natural farming practices, its capabilities, and practices to construct it in agricultural soils. The webinar concludes with the story of Rick and Janice Felker of Mattawoman Creek Farmers in Virginia, and the natural practices they used to SOM and fertility of their sandy soils.
Webinar 2: Soil Life in Natural Farming: The Position of Soil Organisms in Soil Well being and Useful resource Conservation
Though soil life makes up only a small portion of the soil mass, it performs all the main capabilities in a wholesome soil. Natural farmers perceive this level and capitalize on it by feeding their soil to feed their crops. After a short introduction to the group of life throughout the soil, this webinar delves into how soil organisms perform in crop manufacturing, and supplies an summary of natural farming for soil biology and its challenges, alternatives, and up to date analysis findings, in addition to some tips for optimizing practices and outcomes.
Webinar 3: Organic Nutrient Administration: Finest Natural Practices for Soil Fertility and Useful resource Stewardship
Nutrient administration focuses on manufacturing, soil well being, and conservation. Based on the NRCS, nutrient administration standards relies on the “4Rs of nutrient stewardship”: proper supply, proper charge, proper time, proper place. After a short abstract of the adjustments all through historical past in natural nutrient administration, this webinar focuses on the challenges and alternatives in natural nutrient administration, via the usage of the 4Rs and affords examples from present analysis. The webinar ends with a abstract of natural nutrient administration suggestions.
Webinar 4: Beating the Weeds With out Herbicides: Soil-Pleasant Natural Weed Administration
Based on the 2022 Nationwide Natural Analysis Agenda report, weeds are the #1 problem to natural farmers. After defining weeds, this webinar focuses on two techniques in managing weeds: prevention and management. First, 5 preventive steps for natural producers are introduced, every full with instance practices. These steps are adopted by a dialogue of natural built-in weed administration management practices, specializing in practices to extend weed management whereas lowering harm to the soil, and sharing farmer improvements and analysis findings. The webinar concludes with a sensible abstract of weed prevention and management practices.
Webinar 5: Cowl Cropping for Soil Well being and Fertility in Natural Manufacturing
Cowl crops play a multi-functional position in natural farming, as they contribute to all 5 ideas of soil well being. This webinar focuses on the challenges and techniques of utilizing cowl crops: selecting the right cowl crop for a farmer’s aims, rotation area of interest, and soil challenges; well timed institution and termination of canopy crops, termination with out herbicides, and optimizing nitrogen launch from the crop; and region-specific challenges and techniques. The webinar concludes with 4 farmer tales of utilizing cowl crops in context.
Webinar 6: The Position of Plant Genetics in Soil Well being: Deciding on Crop Cultivars for Natural Manufacturing
Based on the 2022 Nationwide Natural Analysis Agenda report, farmers discover it troublesome to seek out acceptable crop varieties and seeds for natural manufacturing. Breeding priorities for the natural farming sector embody illness and pest resistance, total vigor, and resilience to drought and different local weather associated challenges. This webinar discusses the challenges for acquiring seeds and cultivars for natural programs and methods to deal with these challenges; and natural plant breeding analysis in vegetable crops, grains, and canopy crops.
Webinar 7: Natural Soil Well being Practices for Water Administration and Water High quality
Can natural soil well being practices buffer the farm in opposition to drought and deluge? After a short overview of soil moisture and the results of inherent and dynamic soil properties on plant out there water, this webinar discusses the impacts of local weather change on soil well being and farm water provide, methods to handle water amount and high quality in natural farming programs, the usage of cowl crops and soil water in difficult climates, and a few irrigation challenges in natural manufacturing.
Webinar 8: Sensible Conservation Tillage for Natural Cropping Programs
Though intense tillage could also be pricey to a farmer’s soil well being, there are strategies and instruments natural farmers can use when tilling to keep up or enhance their soil well being. This webinar discusses instruments to scale back tillage depth in natural programs, the natural rotational no-till programs and its 4 steps, and soil disturbance. The webinar concludes with farmer tales of tillage discount in natural manufacturing, specializing in vegetable, blended crop and livestock, and grain farms all through the U.S.
Webinar 9: Sequestering Carbon, Lowering Greenhouse Gases, and Constructing Local weather Resilience via Natural Soil Well being Practices
Local weather change impacts agriculture, and agriculture additionally contributes to local weather change. After sharing some methods during which U.S. agricultural programs may be a part of the answer, this webinar dives into natural agriculture as a local weather resolution: its alternatives and challenges, finest practices for carbon sequestration, and finest practices for greenhouse fuel mitigation. The webinar concludes with a presentation of current analysis findings, and their implications for natural agriculture.