Soil health cornerstone of long-term profitability

Dave Bergmeier

As end-of-the-year chores start to crop up for farmers and ranchers it provides an opportunity to review what worked and what needs to be addressed in 2023 and beyond.

One constant is the need to build soil health and farmers and ranchers know that is always a high priority as they maneuver through the whims of Mother Nature. A well-executed soil health plan puts each farmer and rancher in a position to succeed for the upcoming production year.

An opportunity to help producers to continue that path starts with High Plains Journal’s Jan. 18 to 19 Soil Health U and Trade Show at the Tony’s Pizza Event Center in Salina, Kansas. One of our goals with U events is to provide farmers with the latest information and research so they can decide for themselves what path to take.

That package includes keynote speakers, educational breakout sessions, engaging panels and a trade show of soil health-focused exhibitors. The ability for producers to network with their peers remains a staple of the Soil Health U series.

Soil health education continues to grow in prominence as farmers and ranchers want to learn how to improve quality and yield as they know that feeding the world is not an easy task. They also know it depends on profitability and farmers and ranchers have to set their own bottom line. Even within one operation soil types can vary. Today, with technology, they now can use new information to help them more precisely apply nutrients.

In recent years the soil health movement has evolved. Experts and producers have learned that soil health—often termed as regenerative agriculture—can include an integrated grazing system that can use the manure generated by livestock and put it back into the ground. The latest information about cover crops is another often asked question as producers seek ways to preserve moisture and topsoil and use the power of plant roots to break up hardpan and reinvigorate below surface soil.

Headline speakers Jerry Hatfield and Jay Fuhrer, both pioneers in the soil health field, will look at carbon and its role and rebuilding the life of a soil, respectively. The Soil Health U lineup has impressively captured what many farmers and ranchers seek in a conference—the challenges of staying profitable while withstanding a long-term drought or operating in an environment when higher fertilizer, diesel, and interest expenses loom in 2023.

The return of an in-person event adds to an even greater opportunity to learn from other producers who have weathered difficult times and continued to have an optimistic outlook and that spirit best defines the American farmer and rancher. We hope you can join us as you continue your soil health journey.

Learn more about the program and restore at Don’t forget to use your HPJ subscriber discount code in the print edition for $25 off registration.

Dave Bergmeier can be reached 620-227-1822 or [email protected].