Tuesday, November 27, 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Many transitioning organic farmers worry about maintaining soil fertility without chemical fertilizers. Klaas and Mary-Howell will explain how in an organic system, soil biological activity is the main source of soil health, and therefore of fertility. Using real-farm examples, they will show how soil health is dependent on cover crops and crop rotation that improve soil tilth, increase soil organic matter, increase soil microbial diversity and activity, and protect the soil from erosion. They will discuss amendments, nutrient budgeting and timing in a multi-year crop rotation. This session will include basic guidance on interpreting soil tests results and current research on soil health management.