Updated: Nov 6
The Virginia Soil Health Coalition is hosting a series of webinars with soil health specialist Mark
Schonbeck. The webinars are part of a professional development program grant with Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE). Mark has worked for 31 years as a researcher, consultant, and educator in sustainable and organic agriculture. He has participated in on-farm research into mulching, cover crops, minimum tillage, and nutrient management for organic vegetables. For many years, he has written for the Virginia Association for Biological Farming newsletter and served as their policy liaison to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. He has also participated in different research projects to analyze, evaluate and improve federally funded organic and sustainable agriculture programs. In addition, Mark offers individual consulting in soil test interpretation, soil quality and nutrient management, crop rotation, cover cropping, and weed management.
The third and final webinar is taking place Monday, November 20th from 10-11:30 AM. The webinar is approved for 1 CEU for NRCS Conservation Planners and 1 Contact Hour for DCR Conservation Planners. Register here for the webinar.
Organic Farming: Tillage, Chemical Abstinence and Soil Resource Protection
Recent Research Findings and Practical Implications
November 20, 2023, 10:00 am
Conservation agriculture aims to eliminate physical soil disturbance – tillage – while allowing judicious use of fertilizers and pesticides as needed. Organic farming as codified by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) aims to minimize chemical disturbance to soil life by excluding synthetics. NOP allows judicious tillage and cultivation practices, provided that soil condition is maintained or improved. This webinar will cover recent research and current best farming practices related to minimizing soil disturbance, and aims to deepen understanding of how both systems can enhance soil health and climate resilience, what unique benefits and challenges the organic approach entails, and how NRCS field personnel can help organic producers meet their soil, resource, and climate stewardship goals.