Conservation Corner: The soil health climax

Every year at this time, we have a Soil Health Conference at the Wysox Fire Hall. It is THE place to be if you want to really be on the cutting edge of what is going on in soil health (Gardeners are welcome too. It is all the same soil). We talk about it all year long, but this is IT! This IS the place to be. If you don’t believe me, look at past presenters- Gabe Brown, Dave Brandt, Ray Archuleta, Russ Wilson, and the list goes on. Look for them on our web page, we have recorded some of the past presentations. Look for them on YouTube. They are the pioneers of this movement and we have had them right here in our own backyard. And, even though they are nationally renowned, we have had them here for only a $15 or $20 admission charge. This year’s group is leading the way and they are doing things that most people have never heard of, and making it work. They are doing things that outsiders would think just aren’t possible. Yet, not only are they doing it, they are getting more yield with less inputs. It is a win for everyone concerned (their wallet, our nutrition, the environment, etc.). This year’s talent will be every bit as good as past years. Maybe better.

We like to talk about how much it does for the environment, and that is a great thing, but it needs to work financially too. These guys will have it all broken out for us. It will surprise you to see how much less fertilizer, spray, lime, diesel fuel, horsepower and the like they need to produce better crops. We can help the environment while helping our bottom line also. Most of the time it is so easy that people just don’t believe it. We had a no till garden here this year. Mulch, plant, harvest. That is what we did. Most people can’t fathom that. These guys are getting to that point with production ag. They may be mulching with living mulch, but it is doing the same thing. Actually, it’s probably doing a little more, but it is a little harder to manage too. I like to Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS).

So, who are this year’s presenters? They will be Russell Hedrich and Rick Clark. Russell is actually a first-generation farmer. Think you can’t get into the biz, he did. He has already won awards for his innovation. He is selling his products for a premium because of the way he is managing things. Rick Clark farms “green.” He plants everything “green”. Some of these guys are even experimenting with relay cropping. Don’t know what any of this is, come join us and find out. It is some really exciting stuff.

Lastly, we will also hear from a local farmer who not only is utilizing a lot of these practices, but also takes time out of his busy day to go to group functions and schools to teach people the new and exciting ways of doing things. We do have local guys doing a lot of these things and we could learn from them what works in this area and what doesn’t.

The meeting is March 18, 2020 at the Wysox Fire Hall from 8:30 to 3:30 p.m. Early registration is $15, $20 at the door. For more information, or to register, visit our website or call (570) 485-3144. Looking forward to seeing you there.

The Bradford County Conservation District is committed to helping people manage resources wisely. You can visit the Bradford County Conservation District at 200 Lake Rd in Wysox across from the Wysox Fire Hall. Contact us at (570) 485-3144 or visit our web page at