Researcher sees the benefits of stacking conservation practices

A soil and water quality researcher says stacking conservation practices can keep more soil and nutrients on fields where they belong. 

Eric Cooley with Discovery Farms Wisconsin says no-till farming and using cover crops combined with grass waterways dramatically reduces erosion in fields and helps conservation structures last longer. “A lot of the conventional tillage where we were really opening up a lot of the soils and traditionally had a lot more soil loss because of the tillage itself, we did see a shorter life expectancy of those.”

And recent studies have proven the effectiveness of combined conservation practices. “We saw a marked decrease in the past two years where we’ve had those treatments done in both the soil and nutrients that are coming from both of the sites that we’ve monitored.”

Cooley says a well-designed grass waterway can capture soil during a runoff event and can be an additional source of forage for the farm. From the Discovery Farms conference in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

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