STREATOR – A rainfall simulator from the Soil Health Partnership has been making the rounds this year.
“We are going to do a demonstration comparing no-till soils versus tilled soils and cover crops,” explained Jim Isermann, Illinois field manager for the Soil Health Partnership during a visit to Jay Whalen’s farm near Streator.
The simulator is owned by the Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership, which is made up of a number of conservation groups in the state. The diverse group is involved on both the environmental and agronomic sides of agriculture.
Visitors to a recent ProHarvest Seeds plot tour at the Whalen farm witnessed the differences in terms of water penetration and erosion which occurs with rainfall. The goal is to see an improvement in soil health and in reducing nutrient losses.
“We want to see an improvement in the economic bottom line to farmers,” Isermann said.
The Soil Health Partnership is an effort of the National Corn Growers Association and receives funding from a number of organizations. They have two cooperators involved with the local Vermillion Headwaters Watershed Project which is trying to replicate the success of the recent Indian Creek project to improve the quality of water entering the Vermillion River.
More information can be found at : www.soilhealthpartnership.org. A list of field days can also be found on the site. The partnership works throughout Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and a number of surrounding states.