Soil Fertility Field Days
Posted November 2008
Fresh market vegetable farmers and University specialists examined soil fertility management strategies and practices at two October field days. The first event was held on the farm of Henry Brockman near Congerville, Illinois on October 20 and attracted 30 people. Henry detailed his four-year rotation that features two years of perennial cover crops to build organic matter, improve soil structure, and provide fertility to subsequent vegetable crops. On October 29, veteran organic grower Steve Pincus described the diverse fertility management practices he uses on his Evansville, Wisconsin farm to over 60 people. In addition to using cover crops like rye and vetch, Steve applies various inputs—including leaf compost, chopped alfalfa hay and soy meal—depending on the crop, season and situation. CIAS staffer John Hendrickson coordinated these events as part of a USDA SARE-funded project examining soil fertility strategies on organic vegetable farms.