CCSI-HAT Soil Health Podcast

by Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative

Monthly podcast dedicated to soil health practices and systems. The podcast is produced through a partnership between the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative (ccsin.org) and Hoosier Ag Today. It features farmers and other experts discussing a wide variety of practices: no-till, cover crops, nutrient/manure management, grazing.

Podcast episodes

  • Season 7

  • Season 7 - Episode 2: The Legacy of David Brandt

    Season 7 - Episode 2: The Legacy of David Brandt

    In this very special episode, David's son Jay Brandt talks with Oklahoma regenerative farmer-rancher Jimmy Emmons about the about the many seeds David planted across the globe and his lasting impact on farming. Not only did Dave's farming practices change the family farm's soil classification from a Cardigan Clay to a "different performing product", he changed the lives of countless people worldwide through his honesty, humility, and great sense of humor. Learn how David and Jay discussed the changes they were seeing on the farm - through a chemists lens and a farmers eye - and how he encouraged people like Jimmy to "just try it somewhere." Also learn about one of David's passions: working with the Dominican Sisters on the Fields of Sinsinawa (WI).

  • Season 7 - Episode 1: National No-Till Conference - Past, Present and Future

    Season 7 - Episode 1: National No-Till Conference - Past, Present and Future

    In 1993 the inaugural National No-Till Conference was held in Indianapolis. In 2024, the conference returned to Indy. Expecting 200 attendees, some 800 people attended in that first year and really fast-tracked the adoption of no-till systems. Mike Lessiter, son of Frank Lessiter, founder of No-Till Farmer magazine and the conference talks about that initial conference as well as the history of no-till and the need for farmers to form networks to ensure their success in adoption of the systems. In addition, Hans Kok consultant out of Indiana (and present at the launch of CCSI), talks about the significance of no-till systems and the impacts of the conference - including farmers sharing information about their stumbles... to help others avoid them.

  • Season 6

  • Season 6 Episode 11 - Grazing Croplands: Exchanges, Value-added Products, and Using Livestock to Manage Challenging Lands

    Season 6 Episode 11 - Grazing Croplands: Exchanges, Value-added Products, and Using Livestock to Manage Challenging Lands

    Father-Son duo Cameron and Devon Churchill, Harrison County Indiana, are joined by Pete Huff, Wallace Center/Pasture Project for a slightly mind-bending conversation on grazing croplands. Just for a couple of teasers, the Churchill's have used intensive regenerative grazing to decrease round bale consumption in the cow calf operation from 2000+ to 700-750 bales! They are also turning cattle out into stalk ground after harvest to graze AND take advantage of hoof action to increase seed-soil contact of broadcast cover crops, improving stand establishment. Meanwhile, Huff provides information on additional resources - from grazing exchanges to practical management guides. Take a listen!

  • Season 6 Episode 10 - Bio Strip-Tilling with Cover Crops

    Season 6 Episode 10 - Bio Strip-Tilling with Cover Crops

    Bio Strip-till is using a cover crop that will winter kill on rows combined with overwintering cover crops in the middles. Soil Health Specialist and farmer Barry Fisher, Fisher Soil Health, and Research Agronomist John Pike, Pike Ag LLC talk about the ways this kind of system is not only a great alternative to traditional strip-till, but also the impressive results John has seen in his research and feedback from farmers he works with. This system can provide the seed-bed ready results many farmers search for as well as improved soil armoring, nutrient cycling, and weed management.

  • Season 6 Episode 9 - Combines, Crop Residue, and Cover Crops

    Season 6 Episode 9 - Combines, Crop Residue, and Cover Crops

    Saving time is critical during fall harvest. So is managing residue to ensure an even template for the following season's crops. In this episode, southwestern Indiana farmer Ray McCormick and Needham Ag Technologies' Phil Needham had called in to the podcast earlier in the spring to discuss the importance of uniform residue spread for even nutrient distribution, even soil temperature and moisture, and even armoring of the soil surface. In Ray's case, that even distribution also helps emergence of cover crop that is seeded from his combine's head - which save him that critical time during fall harvest.