Florida Cover Crops Tour Teaches Lessons

 

The NCAT Gulf States Office was represented at a recent farm tour highlighting cover crops and conservation tillage in Florida.

Titled Discover the Cover: Cover Crop & Soil Health Field Tour, the day-long instructional tour around Monticello, Fla., on April 1 was sponsored by Farm Credit of North Florida and the Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District. It was hosted by the Jefferson County NRCS office.

Here’s a photo essay.

Kirk Brock of Brock Farms, Monticello, FL, shows how cover crops build topsoil and hold moisture on his farm. (Photo by Jim Ewing, NCAT)
Kirk Brock of Brock Farms, Monticello, FL, shows how cover crops build topsoil and hold moisture on his farm. (Photo by Jim Ewing, NCAT)
Dr. Cheryl Mackowiak, professor of soil nutrient management, at the University of Florida displays core samples of soil on farms using cover crops. They show a demonstrable difference in soil quality. (Photo by Jim Ewing, NCAT)
Dr. Cheryl Mackowiak, professor of soil nutrient management at the University of Florida, displays core samples of soil on farms using cover crops. They show a demonstrable difference in soil quality. (Photo by Jim Ewing, NCAT)
Joel Love, an environment specialist with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, displays a daikon radish used in cover cropping as a method to break up subsoil in the field and increase fertility. (Photo by Jim Ewing, NCAT)
Joel Love, an environment specialist with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, displays a daikon radish used in cover cropping as a method to break up subsoil in the field and increase fertility. (Photo by Jim Ewing, NCAT)
Patricia Sorensen with the Farm Service Agency in Monticello, Fla., holds up sunhemp - a type of cover crop that is exciting interest for its nitrogen fixation and humus-building properties. (Photo by Jim Ewing, NCAT)
Patricia Sorensen with the Farm Service Agency in Monticello, Fla., holds up sunhemp – a type of cover crop that is exciting interest for its nitrogen fixation and humus-building properties. (Photo by Jim Ewing, NCAT)
The Fulford Family Farms has a brand new I&J crimper roller that flattens and breaks stems to allow no-till farming, letting the cover crop fertilize the soil. (Photo by Jim Ewing, NCAT)
The Fulford Family Farms has a brand new I&J crimper roller that flattens and breaks stems to allow no-till farming, letting the cover crop fertilize the soil. (Photo by Jim Ewing, NCAT)
A close-up of the I&J crimper roller shows how the ridges are aligned. (Photo by Jim Ewing, NCAT)
A close-up of the I&J crimper roller shows how the ridges are aligned. (Photo by Jim Ewing, NCAT)
Dr. Danielle Treadwell of the University of Florida shares findings from her research on cover crops. Her research, funded by Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE), was pivotal to the group promoting cover crops in Florida that met April 1 in Monticello, Fla. (Photo by Jim Ewing, NCAT)
Dr. Danielle Treadwell of the University of Florida shares findings from her research on cover crops. Her research, funded by Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE), was pivotal to the group promoting cover crops in Florida that met April 1 in Monticello, Fla. (Photo by Jim Ewing, NCAT)

NCAT has a number of publications regarding cover crops, soil building, and good conservation practices through the ATTRA program. See: https://attra.ncat.org/directories.html

The Gulf States Office is eager to share information regarding sustainable agriculture. Farmers and ranchers in the region – Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Florida – are invited to call our toll-free number (866) 643-2767 for more information.

 

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