OFRF, in partnership with the Pure Sources Conservation Service (NRCS), has co-created a webinar collection centered 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. Subjects 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 accessible free of charge, you could find them right here.
Webinar 1: Why “Natural” Issues – Soil Natural Matter, Soil Well being and USDA-Licensed Natural Farming
Soil is a dwelling system that cycles vitamins and provides crops with important vitamins. Natural farmers should give attention to 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 features, 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 Function 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 features 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 operate in crop manufacturing, and gives an outline of natural farming for soil biology and its challenges, alternatives, and up to date analysis findings, in addition to some pointers 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 is predicated on the “4Rs of nutrient stewardship”: proper supply, proper charge, proper time, proper place. After a short abstract of the modifications all through historical past in natural nutrient administration, this webinar focuses on the challenges and alternatives in natural nutrient administration, by using the 4Rs and presents 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 ways 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 reducing injury 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 rules of soil well being. This webinar focuses on the challenges and methods of utilizing cowl crops: choosing 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 methods. The webinar concludes with 4 farmer tales of utilizing cowl crops in context.
Webinar 6: The Function of Plant Genetics in Soil Well being: Choosing 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 techniques and methods to handle 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 accessible 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 techniques, using cowl crops and soil water in difficult climates, and a few irrigation challenges in natural manufacturing.
Webinar 8: Sensible Conservation Tillage for Natural Cropping Techniques
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 take care of or enhance their soil well being. This webinar discusses instruments to scale back tillage depth in natural techniques, the natural rotational no-till techniques 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, Decreasing Greenhouse Gases, and Constructing Local weather Resilience by Natural Soil Well being Practices
Local weather change impacts agriculture, and agriculture additionally contributes to local weather change. After sharing some methods through which U.S. agricultural techniques might be a part of the answer, this webinar dives into natural agriculture as a local weather answer: its alternatives and challenges, greatest practices for carbon sequestration, and greatest practices for greenhouse fuel mitigation. The webinar concludes with a presentation of latest analysis findings, and their implications for natural agriculture.