Episode 10

Published on:

27th Jul 2023

Soil Health with Abbey Wick, Ph.D.

At the time of this interview Dr. Abbey Wick was the associate professor and extension soil health specialist at North Dakota State University. She has since gone on to a new role after nearly 12 years at NDSU. She is now the Global Soil Health Education Program Lead at Syngenta. We talk about what is motivating more farmers to want to try new practices on their farms to improve their soil health, some of the barriers to adopting these practices, and the support and resources available for anyone looking to learn more. We also discuss a new approach that food companies are getting involved with to spread the word about soil health through certified crop advisors, which is called the Trusted Advisor Partnership.

“I do think that people need to be aware of how they're going to keep that residue on the surface and probably it's with the crops they are growing in between those pulse crops and rotation. They could build up some of the residue. But yeah, it's exciting. I think there's a ton of potential with pulse crops, and fortunately we can grow them here in the northern plains. So I think we're in a great position here to do some really cool things with soil health and pulse.” - Dr. Abbey Wick

Wick has seen both soil erosion and salinity issues be big motivators for producers to turn to new soil health practices. Using a perennial and keeping residue on the surface has become much more common place for producers in the North Dakota area to combat these issues. She goes on to share that a strong community of support and collaboration has developed around these soil health practices including the Trusted Advisor Partnership. 

“There's a community around this that I think growers want to be part of. And to have that support not only from the university or from crop advisors who are interested in this or from conservation districts or NRCS groups. But they want to be part of that community because they want to be creative and they want to be thinking through the problems and solving problems on their farm and now they have people to do that with. And so I think that's been a huge motivator for soil health.” - Dr Abbey Wick

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Growing Pulse Crops Podcast is hosted by Tim Hammerich of the Future of Agriculture Podcast.

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About the Podcast

Growing Pulse Crops
The science and business of farming field peas, chickpeas, and lentils
This show features the latest in research, agronomy, and economics of pulse crops (peas, chickpeas, lentils, etc.).

Demand for these nutrient-dense, high-protein foods continues to grow. There is also interest from farmers to include more pulses into diverse rotations for benefits like nitrogen fixation and soil health.

But the industry continues to face challenges, and we are eager to address these head on. So if you’re a pulse grower or in any way interested in these important crops, hit subscribe and stay tuned for future episodes. We’ll be back with plenty of information about challenges pulse farmers are facing throughout the U.S. and what solutions are working.

Brought to you by the Pulse Crops Working Group with support from the North Central IPM Center and USDA NIFA.

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Tim Hammerich

I share stories about agriculture, agtech, and agribusiness on podcasts and radio.