Posted August 2, 2016

More than 140 agricultural producers experienced working examples of methods to improve soil health during the No-till on the Plains’ Whirlwind Expo July 28 in Leedey, Okla. Attendees visited several sites on the Jimmy Emmons farm to gain practical insights to improve soil health through continuous no-till cropping systems.

Participants boarded buses to tour field plots, study long-term no-till fields and pollinator field borders, and compare soil structures in soil pits. Afternoon presentations at the Leedey Community Center included a rainfall simulator, which demonstrates raindrop impact and water infiltration on soil samples from undisturbed native prairie, continuous no-till and conventional tillage soils.

Featured speakers included Greg Scott, professional soil scientist from Tyron, Okla., who discussed soil quality, soil structure and the positive impacts of continuous no-till on soil health. He also answered questions on continuous no-till and cover crops.

No-till producer Alan Mindemann, Apache, Okla., shared his experience converting fields previously under conventional tillage to no-till, as well as using forages with livestock and cover crops without livestock.

Keith Berns, no-till producer and owner of Green Cover Seed, Bladen, Neb., shared the keys to healthy soils and how the production and consumption of carbon in the soil is similar to the financial economies across the world.

A similar event is scheduled for Aug. 29-30 in Enid, Okla. Visit or call 785-210-4549 for more information. Pre-registration online is encouraged.

This high-quality education event was funded through a grant from USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service and Oklahoma State University Extension with support from Texas A&M Agrilife, the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts and the Oklahoma Conservation Commission. Sponsors include Green Cover Seed, Farmers Business Network, CHS Cover Crop Seed Resources and Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma.