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For the Health of the Soil

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How-to
November 20, 2017

By Melanie Cirillo

Day-long seminar provides farmers with practical knowledge

On November 1, American Farmland Trust, Peconic Land Trust, Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), Long Island Farm Bureau, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) sponsored the second annual Soil Health Field Day at the Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck.

  • Sandy Menasha from the Suffolk County Chapter of CCE and Ken Johnson from Suffolk County SWCD introduced the farmers to the benefits and challenges of compost use in agricultural operations on Long Island. Click here for her presentation.
  • Liz Camps from NRCS and Corey Humphrey from Suffolk County SWCD spoke about their services available for farmers and how their plans for best management practices assist with the proper siting and management of compost piles. Click here for Liz’s presentation.
  • Jean Bonhotal from Cornell Waste Management Institute illustrated the many factors to consider in building soil sustenance and resiliency and how to make your own compost. 
  • Dan Heston from Peconic Land Trust explained about composting application equipment that was on display. 

The workshop ended with a panel of farmers who spoke about how they utilize compost: Fred Lee, Phil Schmitt and Clark McComb — moderated by Jean Bonhotal, Cornell Waste Management Institute. 

Overall, it was an opportunity for producers at all levels of experience to hear about local/regional resources and tools available to them.  This voluntary educational session was very well received and illustrates the continued dedication within the farming community to reduce impact to local soil and water resources through improved management practices.

We so appreciate all our partners’ efforts in organizing this informative Soil Health Field Day! And we are looking forward to providing this forum again in the years to come.