Soil Quality Kit to Assess Soil Health

Recently, Mike Hubbs conducted a training session with Adam Daugherty, Greg Brann and eleven other NRCS and Conservation District employees from Middle Tennessee. Adam Daugherty, District Conservationist for Coffee County is conducting a study of soil health in conjunction with a grant from Tennessee Department of Agriculture. The grant will examine soil health indicators with farmers using conservation practices such as no-till, cover crop combinations, crop rotations, nutrient, and pest management in order to quantify the benefits of soil health. He invited Mike Hubbs newly hired by TACD to work with Districts and NRCS to promote soil health.

Read more: Soil Quality Kit to Assess Soil Health

2014 No-till Day in Milan

The narrative below is an overview of the presentations made by Mike Hubbs and Greg Brann at the 2014 Milan No-till Day.

Soil Health: The continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living organism, sustaining and improving soil, plant and animal resources. 

How do you improve soil health?

Less Disturbance: Reducing tillage is essential to protecting benefits of cover and root growth. Disturbances can also be excessive nutrients, pesticides, uncontrolled traffic, grazing without a recovery period or anything else that impacts the soil.

Increase Cover: Cover is essential to increase soil carbon; the start of improving all functions in the soil.  Cover can be increased by good agronomic practices and less disturbance. Crop diversity and living roots  also increases soil carbon.

Increase Diversity: Plant diversity improves soil health by providing different root exudates (sugars) to feed soil life. Different root forms and different rooting depths all improve soil health and soil life.  Diversity in soil life improves resilience of the soil as well as aggregate stability. Aggregate stability is important because the soil maintains a good air and moisture relationship (pore space).

Read more: 2014 No-till Day in Milan

Soil Health Information Available

Unlock the Secrets of the SoilTACD is pleased to provide a webpage to answer frequently asked questions about soil health. Two soil health authorities, Greg Brann and Mike Hubbs, have provided questions and answers and will answer new questions.

Click the button below to visit the page, participate in the dialogue, read about Greg and Mike, and view the soil health photo library.


John Charles Wilson Inducted into the Southeast NACD Conservation Hall of Fame

The Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts 2013 Inductee to the Southeast NACD Conservation Hall of Fame is John Charles Wilson of Shelby County.  He has been an advocate for agriculture and conservation throughout his life. 

He has been active in TACD since 1982 and served as TACD President from 1989-1993 and currently serves as the Chairman of the Shelby County SCD.

Read more: John Charles Wilson Inducted into the Southeast NACD Conservation Hall of Fame