Oct. 20. 2020
UA System Division of Agriculture, Soil Health Institute announce virtual field days promoting healthy soils for sustainable cotton
By U of A System Division of Agriculture
- 13 virtual field days in Arkansas, South Carolina are part of Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton project
- Videos offer information for successful soil health management for cotton
- View videos athttps://soilhealthinstitute.org/soil-health-training/
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LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas cotton producers now have access to more information about soil health through a series of virtual field days provided by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the Soil Health Institute (SHI), the nonprofit entity charged with safeguarding and enhancing the vitality and productivity of soils.
The videos include conversations with cotton growers and soil health specialists in Arkansas, David Lamm, project manager of Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton, said. The series of six videos is publicly available on SHI’s YouTube Channel.
“Our goal is to conserve our natural resources and improve soil health while increasing profitability of farm operations,” Matt Fryer, soil science instructor with the Cooperative Extension Service, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said. “Cover crops can help do that over the long term.”
Fryer and Bill Robertson, extension cotton agronomist for the Division of Agriculture, are featured in the Arkansas-based videos, some of which were filmed at Joe Whittenton’s farm in St. Francis County and Adam Chappell’s farm in Monroe County, both located in Arkansas’ Delta region.
“In Arkansas, Adam has been a forerunner in implementing cover crops and soil health practices for more than a decade,” Fryer said. “Those benefits include reducing erosion and water run-off, controlling weeds, improving soil health, and increased profitability among others.”
Whittenton and his family previously used cover crops on their farm but migrated away from their use for a few years.
“They are now working cover crops back into their production cycle and are seeing many of the benefits,” Robinson said.
Seven additional videos from a virtual field day in South Carolina also are available. The South Carolina field day includes videos on bulk density, soil temperature and general principles of regenerative agriculture.
Other virtual field days cover the following topics:
Building Soil Health in Arkansas
Cotton Soil – Conventional and No-Till
Introducing the Furrow Runner Plow
Cover Crop Seed Selection
Cover Crop Seed Mixes
Wide Row Cotton
Soil Health in Richland County (South Carolina)
Measuring Bulk Density
Measuring Soil Temperature
Principles of Regenerative Agriculture
Warm Season Cover Crop Mixes
Warm Season Cover Crop Growth
Wrapping Up in Richland County (South Carolina)
The virtual field day videos are part of the Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton project, which provides farmer-focused education and training events delivered by
Soil Health Institute scientists, partnering with local soil health technical specialists
and farmer mentors who have implemented successful soil health management systems.
The project aims to increase the adoption of soil health management systems among
cotton producers while documenting environmental and economic benefits.
Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton is supported through the generosity of the Wrangler® brand, the VF Corporation Foundation and the Walmart Foundation. For more information about the project and access to the video series, visit https://soilhealthinstitute.org/soil-health-training/.
About the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system. The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
About the Soil Health Institute
The Soil Health Institute (www.soilhealthinstitute.org) is a non-profit whose mission is to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of soil through scientific research and advancement. The Institute works with its many stakeholders to identify gaps in research and adoption; develop strategies, networks and funding to address those gaps; and ensure beneficial impact of those investments to agriculture, the environment and society.
Wrangler® apparel is available nationwide in mass market retailers, specialty stores, including work apparel chains, farm & fleet, and western stores, as well as through online and catalog retailers. To find a retailer or for more information on the Wrangler family of products, visit Wrangler.com or call 888.784.8571.
About VF Corporation
VF Corporation outfits consumers around the world with its diverse portfolio of iconic lifestyle brands, including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland®, Wrangler® and Lee®. Founded in 1899, VF is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies with socially and environmentally responsible operations spanning numerous geographies, product categories and distribution channels. VF is committed to delivering innovative products to consumers and creating long-term value for its customers and shareholders. For more information, visit www.vfc.com.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart.org represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By leaning in where the business has unique strengths, Walmart.org works to tackle key social issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 27 countries, employs more than 2 million associates and does business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Walmart.org is helping people live better by supporting programs that work to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, address hunger and make healthier, more sustainably grown food a reality, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit www.walmart.org or connect on Twitter @Walmartorg.
University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service