At the end of July, more than 130 soil health experts convened in Louisville, Kentucky to brainstorm about the future of soil health research. Of the many scientists, university specialists, farmers, experts, and NGO leaders in attendance, the WA State Soil Health Committee was the only state soil committee invited to attend!
Ultimately, the conference aimed to identify key areas of research and standards of measurement that could then form convincing, relevant, scientifically grounded recommendations for policy makers and agricultural producers.
The convention marked the first annual meeting of the Soil Health Institute, an organization headed by Dr. Wayne Honeycutt whose mission is “to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of the soil.”
WA State Soil Health Committee representative Gary Farrell was thrilled to be among the ranks of soil health advocates unifying behind basic soil health goals. Those goals include conducting a national assessment of soil health, identifying research gaps regarding the relationship between crop rotations and microbial soil health, creating a “digital decision support tool that enables growers to anticipate which soil amendments and crop rotations will have the greatest impact on a field’s annual return.”
For more information about the Soil Health Institute and their first annual meeting, check out their press release about the event, here.