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3rd Annual NEMO/WCIL Soil Health Workshop
January 24 @ 8:30 am - 3:30 pm
Reducing Costs in a Soil Health System, The Importance of Carbon & how to mange it, Planting into Green Covers, Increasing Stock Density to Increase Profitability, and Q & A with a local 4-Producer Panel, Local Ag Sponsors on Hand
No-till producer, Cotton Plant, Arkansas
Adam Chappell is a fourth generation farmer in Cotton Plant, AR farming around 9,000 acres in partnership with his brother, Seth Chappell. They grew up in Cotton Plant, working on the farm from an early age. Both went to college with ideas of leaving the farm, but it called them back home in 2005 when they joined their father’s operation. Their father, Dewayne Chappell, has since retired, but the brothers continued on, farming cotton, corn, soybeans, rice and are also partners in a produce operation with Dr. Frank Groves.
Adam earned a B.S in Botany from Arkansas State and an M.S. in Entomology from the U of A. During this time, he developed an interest in research and ecological principles that led him to question the conventional methods of farming. Recognizing the shrinking margins in southern row crop agriculture, Adam looked for a way to cut costs through cultural means. This combined with the need to control herbicide-resistant weeds, such as palmer amaranth, led to experimenting with cover crops and a passion for soil health. They now have 8,000+ acres planted to covers and utilize a no-till system. The change from conventional tillage and traditional southern row crop farming to no-till and covers has allowed them to maintain top yields in the area and reduce input costs significantly.
Adam believes that the most dangerous phrase in our language is “We’ve always done it this way”. With this mindset, he continues to try new things and push the envelope of no-till and cover crops.
Doug Peterson, former Missouri Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) state soil health conservationist, was named NRCS regional soil health specialist for the states of Missouri and Iowa. One of 16 regional soil health specialists in the nation, Peterson began his new role with the agency on October 18.
“Doug is well-versed and very knowledgeable in soil health,” State Conservationist J.R. Flores said. “It came as no surprise to me that he was selected as regional soil health specialist. Doug served as Missouri’s soil health conservationist for three years and was an excellent resource for our employees. Soil health is an important topic of discussion across the nation and it’s nice to see that Doug will be leading the charge in such an exciting and evolving field.”
With the establishment of the National Soil Health Division at NRCS headquarters, regional soil health specialists, four in each region, provide assistance to all 50 states and territories. Peterson, who began his career with NRCS in 1987, will divide his time between Missouri and Iowa while also dedicating energy to regional and national efforts.
“I’m excited to continue my soil health work in Missouri while also providing assistance to Iowa NRCS staff and producers,” Peterson said. “It’s important to help people recognize and understand how improving their state’s soil health can help their natural resources and profitability.”