Nebraska Soil Health School: understanding soil health gap
Das Saurav, UNL assistant professor at the Panhandle Research Extension and Education Center, discusses soil health.
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- [00:00:00.000]Soil health is not a new concept in Nebraska. Ag producers
- [00:00:03.319]have been doing cover crops and no-till to improve their soils.
- [00:00:07.217]Das Saurav, UNL assistant professor at the Panhandle
- [00:00:10.826]Research Extension and Education Center, said
- [00:00:13.688]to be quantitative and not just qualitative in soil health, they came
- [00:00:17.405]up with the concept of a soil health gap in 2020.
- [00:00:21.351]Whereas we are using the rangelands or grasslands, the
- [00:00:25.226]land which has been kind of like any kind of
- [00:00:27.748]agronomy practices as a reference. And we are trying to compare
- [00:00:32.233]a cropland with those lands. So, to see how
- [00:00:35.062]much the soil quality has degraded over the years during
- [00:00:38.944]the, when we introduced so many agronomy practices.
- [00:00:42.768]The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the USDA
- [00:00:45.618]Natural Resources Conservation Service collaborated to create
- [00:00:48.577]a three-part series entitled the Nebraska Soil Health School.
- [00:00:52.517]When we started working with the NRCS, we also
- [00:00:55.637]realized that each soil has its own potential. Like the
- [00:00:59.495]soil in Scottsbluff and soil in Lincoln have different
- [00:01:02.777]potential based on how the soil has formed.
- [00:01:05.360]We have more sandy soils in the west compared to more
- [00:01:08.052]loamy soils in the east. So each soil has its own potential.
- [00:01:11.008]Saurav said in soil health, they measure a lot of
- [00:01:13.708]different indicators. He explained how he relates the
- [00:01:16.881]finding back to producers. I try to contextualize soil health
- [00:01:20.607]gap in terms of soil organic matter. Like let's say your
- [00:01:23.409]reference data has a five percent organic matter and your
- [00:01:27.028]cropland has a two percent organic matter. So there is a gap of
- [00:01:29.700]three percent organic matter. So by introducing
- [00:01:32.815]regenerative practices, probably you can improve that
- [00:01:35.633]to the next level. The Nebraska Soil Health School was
- [00:01:38.896]held in June at the West Central Research, Extension
- [00:01:42.157]and Education Center in North Platte. The final soil
- [00:01:44.600]health school will be Aug. 1-2 at the Haskell Lab in Concord, Neb.
- [00:01:49.438]This report has been brought to you by the
- [00:01:51.130]UNL Panhandle Research Extension and
- [00:01:53.464]Education Center in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.
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