2019 New York Soil Health Trailer

New York Soil Health Trailer Coordinator Fay Benson demonstrates how soil
reacts to rainfall. Photo: Cornell Soil Health Laboratory


The New York Soil Health Trailer will be at the August 6-8, 2019 Empire Farm Days in Seneca Falls, NY, as part of its summer tour across the Northeast to educate viewers on soil compaction in regional pasture soils.

The solar-powered trailer carries a demonstration table that shows how different soils react to rainfall and how healthy soils improve infiltration and prevent runoff. The unit illustrates how such practices as cover cropping and no-till farming are effective for reducing soil erosion and enhancing nutrients to support crop development.

A USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service grant provided the funding to develop the New York Soil Health Trailer, which has its own water supply to simulate rainfall on the various soil samples to demonstrate water-holding capacity and runoff levels.

More than 1,000 people per year for the past three years have seen how important maintaining soil health is to farm and land sustainability.

“Seeing is believing. We have made presentations for everyone from crop and vegetable growers and farm employees to school students and military veterans interested in getting into farming,” says New York Soil Health Trailer coordinator Fay Benson, a Cornell University Cooperative Extension educator with the small dairy support team of the South Central NY Regional Team, the NY Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship, and the NY Organic Dairy Initiative responsibilities.

Benson’s presentations are made in cooperation with Cornell Soil Health Laboratory faculty, his fellow Extension educators, and local agricultural professionals. Following Empire Farm Days, the New York Soil Health Trailer will travel northeast for the Maine Soil Field Days. New York Soil Health Trailer will be located near the Soil Health Center, organized by the New York State Interagency Soil Health Working Group, New York Soil Health Initiative, and Empire Farm Days for the agricultural and rural living event at Rodman Lott and Son Farms in Seneca Falls, N.Y.

See www.empirefarmdays.com and Facebook for details on the Soil Health Center farmer panels, daily luncheon sponsored by King’s AgriSeeds, and the daily cover crop field demo tour sponsored by King’s AgriSeeds and Seedway.

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