Groundhog Day isn’t for nearly a month, but west-central Wisconsin people might be thinking today is a reflection of the iconic movie of that name. Today, after all, started as a virtual repeat as yesterday with new snow greeting all to opened their doors to this morning’s country air.
That won’t stop the soil from healing beneath its winter blanket, of course, nor will it stop the annual January farm meeting season.
People of the land have long known the importance of protecting the soil, and the meeting season will bring about sessions around Wisconsin drawing new attention to the soil’s overall health. Past years’ research on matters such as tillage, nutrient management, pest management and cover crops all are coming together under the heading of soil health.
It’s all drawn together into understanding the soil’s very biology, with farmers starting to realize improved profits by giving attention to such matters about which bacteria are thriving in their soil.
Locally, those matters will be covered during an Eau Claire River Watershed Coalition program Feb. 10 at the C.A.M. Center at Thorp, and Feb. 12 at the Augusta-Bridge Creek Fire Station. Local and state researchers will join a farmer-panel to discuss “Farming Profitably with Cover Crops and Healthy Soils.” The sessions will be 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with a free lunch included.
Statewide, the issue will be covered Feb. 20 at the Wisconsin Cover Crops Conference at the Stevens Point Holiday Inn.
We’ll be following the new ways of thinking where soil-health is concerned. A few January snows can’t be all folks count on to protect the precious land from winter’s icy cold.