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Searching for "soil health"

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One Health: Uniting People, Animals, and Plants for Health -- Vibrant Clubs
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a complex problem to overcome. It takes all industries to work together to combat AMR. The most important approach to overcoming AMR is taking a One Health approach. One Health is a collaborative, multi-sector, transdisciplinary approach to achieving optimal health outcomes among people, animals, plants, and their shared environment. It is important to demonstrate to youth that even with their 4-H projects, they are still part of One Health.

Fighting against germs that resist medicine is really hard. When medicines no longer work to kill germs we call this antimicrobial resistance. To solve this problem, everyone - like doctors, farmers, and scientists - needs to work together. One important way to do this is by using something called the “One Health” approach. One Health means everyone, including people, animals, plants, and the environment they all share, working together to stay healthy. Even kids with their 4-H projects can be a part of this important teamwork!
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Organic No-Till Production
Reduced tillage or no-till can provide multiple environmental benefits, particularly in the area of soil health, as well as reducing machinery, labor and fuel costs. With organic no-till, herbicides cannot be used to terminate cover crops, as is practiced in conventional no-till. Iowa State University has worked with the Rodale Institute (RI) in conducting research on organic no-till soybeans, corn and vegetables since 2005.
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Whole Farm Conservation Best Practices Manual - Addendum: Decision Tools for Conservation Professionals
Iowa’s conservation efforts are focused on improving water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat while remaining productive and profitable. This publication is designed for conservation professionals to help guide their clients in assessing, selecting and incorporating edge-of-field conservation practices most appropriate to their land and goals, and is a companion publication to the Whole Farm Conservation Best Practices Manual (CLG 105).
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What to Expect: Establishing Prairie Vegetation on Your Farm
This publication informs Iowa farmers and landowners about the process and benefits of establishing small areas of perennial prairie vegetation to benefit soil health, water quality, and wildlife. Establishment of prairie vegetation takes both time and active management—this publication aims to help farmers and landowners set reasonable expectations while sharing consensus best management practices for successful establishment and management.
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Measuring Soil Organic Carbon: A Crucial Iowa Resource
This publication discusses how soil organic carbon has a wide range of crucial roles in agriculture. It impacts crop productivity, soil health, the movement of water, and removal of contaminants. Key themes of this publication include how soil organic carbon is closely related to soil organic matter, but the two are measured differently; soil organic carbon is linked to many aspects of soil health such as nutrient exchange, soil water holding capacity, and it provides great value on the farm; carbon markets are focused on changes in soil organic carbon stock that result from the application of new agricultural management practices; and the stock of soil organic carbon in a field is based on organic carbon concentration, depth of sampling, area of the field, and adjustments for other soil characteristics.
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Whole Farm Conservation Best Practices Manual
Improving water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat while remaining productive and profitable is the focus of many conservation efforts in Iowa. Confidence in practice selection and management is essential for implementing conservation practices. This publication provides best management recommendations for farmers and landowners getting started with conservation and water quality practices by helping select and incorporate in-field and edge-of-field conservation practices most appropriate to the decision maker's land and preferences.
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Farmer Perspectives on 4R Plus, Cover Crops, and Soil Health - Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll
This report focuses largely on Iowa farmers’ perspectives regarding a major nutrient management effort called the 4R Plus initiative, a science-based framework designed to guide improved nutrient management among farmers. The initiative is promoted by a coalition of more than 50 public and private agricultural stakeholders and conservation NGOs.
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Mental and Physical Health - Mental Health Matters!
The Mental Health Matters! publications are designed to provide information on youth mental health. They include an activity that young people can do to gain skills related to their mental and physical wellbeing. Youth may do activities on their own, with a caring adult, or with a group.

4-H staff or other youth-serving organizations can use these in their newsletters, club meetings, or workshops.

This publication issue offers an activity to practice focusing your mind.
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Turfgrass Biological Soil Health
Soil health or soil quality refers to the ability of soil to function and sustain productivity, enhance and maintain water and air quality, and support plant health. Soils provide many essential functions, such as regulating water, sustaining plant and animal life, reducing potential pollutants, cycling nutrients, and physical stability. Soil health involves physical, chemical, and biological processes and properties.
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Managing Farm Stress and Distress
This publication is dedicated to the many dairy and other farmers who have felt farm stress beyond their comfort zone and for the many others who might benefit with more attention paid to their and their family’s mental health for both farm and family well-being. It is targeted at both the farmers and their spouses as often the spouses carry a heavy burden of care with farm stress as well.

  • Intro - Managing Farm Stress and Distress - Mindset Tactics for Happiness, Brain Health, and Behavioral Well-Being
  • Part 1 - Mitigating Farm Distress - Mindfulness Over Emotions
  • Part 2 - Destressing Farm Relationships - Intentional Attitudinal Behaviors
  • Summary - Fixes for Brain and Behavioral Health - 30 Key Tools in the Farmer's Mental Health Toolbox
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May Soil Health -- Gardening to Give
Feed your club, community, country, and your world with monthly, hands-on research-based learning opportunities. Gardening to give features activities on gardening and growing, designed for all ages and experience levels. Working together, we can provide food for our loved ones, and donate to food pantries while engaging in this horticulture learning experience.

This Gardening to Give lesson focuses on soil health. Soil acts as a water filter, provides habitat for billions of organisms, and serves as a foundation for our cities and towns.

Additional information about the program is available on the Gardening to Give webpage.
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Glowing Germs -- On the Go Lesson
The health of your animals is very important. Whether on the farm or at a show, you should be mindful of diseases that could make your animal very sick. But what about the diseases that can make your animal sick and can also make you sick? In this activity, you will see how easily germs can spread between you and your animal.

These To Go Lessons can be used to create a "grab and go" style activity with supplies included. Add your local contact information, print, and cut each sheet in half. The left side can be used on the outside of the paper bag or box to identify the activity, and the right side can be placed in the package as an instruction sheet.

Youth-serving organizations in Iowa are encouraged to contact their local Iowa State University Extension and Outreach county office to explore partnership opportunities in administering this program.
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Biosecurity Charades -- On the Go Lesson
The health of your animals is very important. Whether on the farm or at a show, you should be mindful of the actions you take to keep your animal healthy. This charades activity is a great way for you to model the steps you should be taking when you are around your animals!

These To Go Lessons can be used to create a "grab and go" style activity with supplies included. Add your local contact information, print, and cut each sheet in half. The left side can be used on the outside of the paper bag or box to identify the activity, and the right side can be placed in the package as an instruction sheet.

Youth-serving organizations in Iowa are encouraged to contact their local Iowa State University Extension and Outreach county office to explore partnership opportunities in administering this program.
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Green Gram and Black Gram: Small Grain Legume Crops for the Midwestern United States
Introducing new specialty crops that complement corn, soybean and cover crops can help improve soil health and provide enhanced long-term productivity and profitability. Green gram and black gram are examples of these specialty crops that are being tested at Iowa State University. This publication provides information on the crop themselves, as well as current Iowa State research.
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2017 Summary Report - Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll
Survey results for the 2017 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll discuss weed and herbicide resistance management, soil health, use of small grains in extended rotations, the influence of agricultural stakeholders on farmers' decisions and decision making among multiple farm operators.
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Iowa Soil Health Field Guide
This soil health field guide provides information about soil health and its importance to sustainable agriculture systems. The research-based information in this soil health guide highlights the relationships between soil characteristics in an easy to understand format that is useful to farmers, agronomists, agricultural consultants, soil scientists, technical service providers, and extension educators. This soil health field guide is the product of the collaborative efforts of Iowa State University and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Iowa.
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Iowa Soil Health Assessment Card
This card is for field assessment and evaluation of soil health indicators as part of the Iowa Soil Health Field Guide. The rating descriptions for each indicator presented on the score card represent the worst and best soil conditions at the time of evaluation.

As the ISHAC is used over time, the impact of different management systems can be documented.

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Building Soil Health
This soil health management publication provides an overview about soil functions and services that are essential for sustainable agriculture systems. The research-based information in this publication highlights the relationships between soil properties that are easy to understand and useful to all, including farmers, agronomists, agricultural consultants, soil scientists, technical service providers, and extension educators.

This publication is the product of the collaborative efforts of Iowa State University and the Department of Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Iowa.

To allow for this publication to be distributed to as many people possible, the limit is one copy per order.

We appreciate your cooperation with this request.
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Iowa Soil Health Management Manual
This soil health management manual provides information about soil functions and services that are essential for sustainable agriculture systems. The research-based information in this soil health management manual highlights the relationships between soil properties that are easy to understand and useful to all, including farmers, agronomists, agricultural consultants, soil scientists, technical service providers, and extension educators. The soil health management manual has four sections and is the product of the collaborative efforts of Iowa State University and the Department of Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Iowa.

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2015 Summary Report - Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll
Survey results for the 2015 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll concern soil health, changes in farm practices and strategies, conservation practice use and monarch butterfly conservation. Questions focused on soil conservation efforts and their perceptions of those practices.
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Cover Crops in Vegetable Production Systems
Vegetable production systems require inputs and if not managed properly could have detrimental effects on soil and the environment. Cover crops are gaining importance and growers can used them as a best practice tool in preserving environmental sustainability of vegetable cropping systems without compromising farm productivity and profitability. This publication defines various cover crops and their benefits such as reducing soil erosion, compaction and synthetic nitrogen inputs, suppressing weeds, increasing soil organic matter and water infiltration, enhancing soil biology, and providing habitat for beneficial insects and natural enemies of pests.
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2013 Summary Report - Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll
This report summarizes the results of the 2013 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll - an annual survey on issues important to rural Iowa since 1982.

Topics highlighted: climate change, rented land, herbicide-resistant weeds, Bt-resistant corn rootworm, soil health and compaction.
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Soil Quality in Organic Agricultural Systems
Building and maintaining soil quality is the basis for successful organic farming. Topics of crop rotations, soil amendments, soil health, carbon sequestration, organic agriculture philosophies, and relevant related field research are included.
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