Harold van Es

Treating ‘sick soils’ isn’t as simple as applying a band-aid or injecting an antibiotic. A permanent path to recovery requires a thorough diagnosis and an incremental plan.

Harold van Es, a professor of soil science at Cornell University and chair of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, focuses his research on soil health, computational agriculture and environmental statistics.

Digging into the dynamics of developing healthy soils and strong biological activity, his team developed the Comprehensive Assessment of Soil Health (CASH) framework, which includes the measurement of 16 soil health indicators that represent important processes in the soil. CASH can be used to identify specific problems related to physical, biological, and chemical concerns in the soil, and CASH reports allow for targeted management approaches.

“We have used the CASH framework to learn about regional variations in soil health which show that geographical differences in soil types, climate and cropping systems impact soil health indicators,” van Es says. “We also studied the effects of different soil management practices, like strip-tillage and cover cropping on soil health.

During a general session at the 2018 National Strip-Tillage Conference, July 26-27 in Iowa City, Iowa, van Es will discuss how different management practices impact biological, physical and chemical indicators and what strip-tillers can learn from those variables to improve soil biology.

An Interview with Harold van Es

In a video interview posted to the National Strip-Tillage Conference website, Harold van Es discusses his presentation with Strip-Till Farmer associate editor James DeGraff.

The 5th annual National Strip-Tillage Conference will be held at the Marriott Coralville Hotel & Conference Center and feature 2 days of strip-till education through an array of thought-provoking general sessions, strategy-packed strip-till classrooms and highly collaborative strip-till roundtable discussions.

Registration is available for just $269, and attendees who register their farm and family members receive additional savings. For more information and to register for the conference, visit striptillconference.com.

Title sponsors making the learning and networking opportunities possible for strip-tillers include AgroLiquid, Copperhead Ag, Dawn Equipment Co., Environmental Tillage Systems, Ingersoll Tillage Group, Kuhn Krause, Montag Mfg., Schlagel Manufacturing, Thurston Mfg. (Blu-Jet), Topcon Agriculture, Vulcan Equipment and Yetter Mfg.