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Attendees at a Western New York Soil Health Alliance soil health workshop

Attendees at a Western New York Soil Health Alliance soil health workshop focusing on no-till practices and benefits. Photo credit: Cedric Mason


BATAVIA, N.Y. — Farmers and agricultural service providers are invited to attend the Western New York Soil Health Alliance’s Soil Health Workshop and Annual Meeting on Dec. 18, 2019, at the Quality Inn & Suites in Batavia, New York.

Steve Groff, farmer and founder of Cover Crop Solutions, will bring new information on growing your own nitrogen with legumes and ‘planting green.’ Steve will also share his experience this year with growing 70 acres of hemp and changes he’ll make in 2020. Maria Harrison, professor from the Boyce Thompson Institute, will discuss how plants control the growth of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and how we can play a part in the process.

Additional topics will include using precision agriculture to facilitate soil health management and the potential to increase your bottom line with soil health management — which will be demonstrated through examining economic case studies from local western New York farms.

Participants can expect to learn:

  • How to use leguminous cover crops to help provide nitrogen to cash crops
  • How to grow hemp under no-till and cover cropping systems
  • How to use precision agricultural technologies to assist with reduced-tillage and cover cropped systems
  • How plants develop interdependent associations with fungi and how phosphates can be acquired from the beneficial relationship
  • How implementing soil regenerative practices can increase farm profitability from real-life case studies from two local crop and vegetable farms

The cost to attend is $25 for pre-registration, completed by Dec. 13, or $35 at the door. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Payment is accepted in cash or check at the event or sent in advance to the Western New York Soil Health Alliance, c/o Orleans County SWCD, 446 W. Ave, Albion, NY 14411.

CCA and DEC pesticide credits will be available. The Western New York Soil Health Alliance’s Annual meeting will also be held during the event.

WHEN: Dec. 18, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Registration and Refreshments from 8:30-9 a.m.)

WHERE: Quality Inn & Suites 8250 Park Road, Batavia, NY 14020

PRE-REGISTER BY: Dec. 13, 2019

Farmers, farmland owners, conservation agency personnel, ag consultants and other interested people in western New York can register at or contact the Orleans County Soil and Water Conservation District at (585) 589-5959.

This workshop is supported in part by the “Genesee River Demonstration Farm Network,” which showcases the impacts of practical and innovative conservation practices on real, working farms and is a collaboration between American Farmland Trust, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Western New York Soil Health Alliance and the Genesee River Watershed Coalition of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

For additional questions, contact Aaron Ristow, American Farmland Trust, Agricultural Stewardship Program Manager. 607-745-7165,

American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families.

–American Farmland Trust