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North Dakota Podcast Promotes Soil Health
Building soil health isn’t just a prescription but rather a pursuit. It’s a journey that requires collaboration, curiosity, and communication among farmers, agricultural researchers, agronomists, consultants, and Extension. That’s the thinking behind the Soil Sense Podcast, says Tim Hammerich, who’s hosting the podcast that spotlights soil health work that North Dakota soil scientists and farmers are doing.
Episodes include work done by Abbey Wick, North Dakota State University Extension soil health specialist. She’ll share her role in promoting North Dakota soil health in North Dakota. Wick works primarily with farmers but also coordinates county Extension agents and other educators to share what new research indicates in regard to enriching the health of the soil. She encourages networking between all factions of agriculture to best help the farmer in the pursuit of a high-quality yield. Her Cafe Talks have become a welcome forum for farmers to receive, engage with, and implement new practices that work best for their individual needs.
“Every year is different,” says Wick. “That makes it a lifelong pursuit, makes it an awareness that you have to have of your system.”
The podcast will also feature farmers like Tony Wagner, a fourth-generation Jamestown, North Dakota, farmer. Wagner took on his first field in the eighth grade. After pursuing college, returned to the area to help manage his family’s operation. He has experimented with different cover crops for different fields in order to better the soil he farms.
“You have one shot a year to do this, and then you have to wait the whole entire year for it to come around,” he says. “That’s kind of what really keeps me interested in it, honestly. There are just so many things to do, from preparation for equipment in the wintertime to all of a sudden, you’re planting and then from planting you’re going on to spraying. Then, from spraying, it starts leading into harvest and next thing you know, the leaves are falling off the tree. I like working with fields and soil and just anything that I can do to improve our farm.”