Soil Health Experts from Fertilizer Institute in Washington, DC; Cornell University, CCE to Speak at 2018 Empire Farm Days

The Soil Health Seminars programming at the 2018 Empire Farm Days at Rodman Lott and Son Farms in Seneca Falls, NY, will provide the opportunity to hear from soil specialists, learn from farming peers in daily panel presentations, see tabletop demonstrations, tour never cover crop plots, and have a soil report created for your use. The presentations are free and organized by the New York State Interagency Soil Health Working Group.

The featured speaker at the Soil Health Center at 9:30 am on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, will be Sally A. Flis, Ph.D., director of agronomy at The Fertilizer Institute, Washington, DC. She will share an update on 4R research and discuss how to adjust fertilizer management for soil health-building practices such as no-till, reduced till, cover crops, legumes in rotation, and manure management, and how growing conditions in the Northeast effect 4R management.

On Wednesday, August 8, at 9:30 am, Harold M. van Es, a 30-year professor of soil science at Cornell University will discuss why healthy soil is the foundation of sustainable crop production and how understanding interactions among the physical, biological, and chemical aspects of soil is key to good soil health management practices, including how to enhance soil organic matter. The audience will learn how reducing tillage and adding cover crops and organic amendments result in increasing the quality and quantity of organic matter to benefit soils and crops.

The Thursday, August 9 speaker at 9:30 am at the Soil Health Center at Empire Farm Days will be Cornell University Cooperative Extension Field Crops Specialist Michael E. Hunter addressing “Weed Management for Cover Cropping and Conservation Tillage Systems.” Mike will cover the challenge of managing residual herbicides in soil health cropping systems that include cover crops, interseeding, diverse rotations, and no-till or strip tillage in the Northeast. Cover crop termination and herbicide resistance management strategies will also be discussed.

Daily at 10:30 am, King’s Agriseeds and Seedway representatives will lead tours of the side-by-side field trials of new cover crop single species and mixes, including stress-tolerant summer annuals for no-till and conventional till systems; combinations for dealing with soil compaction and adding organic matter; pollinator- and butterfly-friendly mixes; crops for use after small grain or vegetables; and natural biofumigants.

At 11:30 am each day, farmers from across New York State will participate in panel discussions as follows:

Tuesday, August 7: Soil Health Management Practices and Fertilizer and Manure Management When Incorporating Cover Crops and Reduced Tillage Into Their Systems;

Wednesday, August 8: Challenges and Benefits of Building Organic Matter and Soil, Water and Nutrient Interactions Using Soil Health Management Systems; and

Thursday, August 9: Challenges of Managing Herbicides Within Systems That Incorporate Cover Crops, Reduced Tillage and Diverse Rotations.

Empire Farm Days is the largest outdoor agricultural trade show in the Northeastern U.S. Show hours, daily schedules, directions and information about exhibitors, demonstrations, ride and drive opportunities, live animal programming and more are posted at Also see Facebook and Instagram.

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