Annual Soil Health Summit event is open to the public for first time

As the pursuit of improved soil health as an on-farm business and environmental strategy continues to grow, the Soil Health Partnership is taking a new step to foster that interest. For the first time, the organization has opened to the public the annual Soil Health Summit, Jan. 15 to 16, 2019, in St. Louis, and especially encourages growers and agronomists to attend.

Attendees will benefit from peer-to-peer networking, collaboration, and education on the latest in soil health strategies, including new data and insights from SHP.

The SHP’s long-term data collection effort measures the on-farm economic and environmental impact of practices known to improve soil health and sustainability. Those practices include reducing tillage, growing cover crops and practicing advanced nutrient management. Shefali Mehta, SHP executive director, noted the field team plans to have a more robust data set for 2018.

“This is the first year where we have a statistically significant number of farms, more than 80, with year-over-year data to compare,” Mehta said. “This Summit will mark the first time we can truly share insights on how the fields are changing over time. We are eager to share this with our partners and attendees.”

Registration is open from the Soil Health Summit website. The registration fee for the two-day event is just $100 for farmers and educators. The cost for other attendees is $250. This registration fee includes the event meals, all sessions, and a reception. A few select exhibitors will also have educational booths.

In its 5th year, the 2019 event will take place at the Hyatt Regency—St. Louis at the Arch. Plenty of time for peer-networking will accompany high-energy sessions and enhanced breakouts on the latest soil health strategies. General sessions will feature top environmental groups and food companies on why this effort is key to their businesses and sustainability strategies. The following are examples of the diverse breakout sessions: Game of drones: Putting aerial imagery to work for you; Cereal killer: Herbicide considerations for cover crop control; the down and dirty on soil testing; From the Hill to the home: Understanding new federal policy and regulation; and Are you #SocialMediaSmart? Using social media to take your business up a notch.

In addition to all the rich content at the summit, SHP is excited to host it in vibrant downtown St. Louis. The Gateway Arch National Park has recently undergone a 5-year extensive renovation and rehabilitation project, with a fascinating indoor museum.