ISU/NRCS Partnership to Create New Soil Workbook for Farmers

Feb 12, 2016

A new partnership between Iowa State University and the Natural Resources Conservation Service will create a soil health workbook for farmers and educators to use in the field. The partnership is part of the NRCS' Soil Health Division, which is new in 2016 and is making it a goal to expand educational resources and training opportunities regarding soil health across the Midwest and across the country. 

Doug Peterson, who is the new regional soil specialist for Iowa and Missouri, says this signals a shift in thinking that the soil is more of a living organism than just dirt. 

"We'll have an added 16 specialists based around the United States to be a resource for farmers and producers," he says. "Just like when we're talking about technology, when it comes to cell phones for example, the same is true for the soil. We know more now than we did 20 years ago." 

Madhi Al-Kaisi, who is a soil scientist and a professor of in the department of agronomy at Iowa State University, is creating a new workbook that farmers can take into the field to help monitor soil health. 

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Peterson; Rick Bednarek, Iowa's State Soil Scientist; and Steve Berger, who farms near Wellman about soil health.  Jason Weller, Chief of NRCS also joins the conversation.