Over 200 agronomists filled the halls of Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown Feb. 26-27 for the annual Delmarva Soil Summit.
Farmers, local government agency representatives, nonprofits, researchers and students joined together for two days of panels and discussions highlighting new research and innovations in small and large-scale farming. From cover crop economics and soil health to the overall discussion of the problems and solutions faced by an array of farmers, the Soil Summit looked to broaden the future of farmers and researchers.
Learning to accept and adapt to new ideas may be key to efficiency and a brighter future for the industry.
“New technology can lead to the last 80 years of research being thrown out the window,” said Jay Baxter, owner and operator of Baxter Farms Inc. “We’ve been so stubborn and accepting of technology that is over 80 years old because it’s what we’ve always used, and it works. But thinking outside of the box, that’s what we have to do going forward.”
More than 20 panels and presentations offered new ideas throughout the event, discussing quantitative decision-making for cover crops, chemicals such as glyphosate and its impact on soil biology, and saltwater intrusion, among many others.
“As fast as things are moving and as fast as we’re having an evolution in technology, environment and social concerns, in farming we think that we don’t have to change, but we really have to change with the times. I used to dislike answering those why questions, but now I like it. When my son asks why we’re using chemicals, I better have an answer for that,” said Trey Hill, a fourth-generation grain farmer from Rock Hall, Md.
For more information on the Delmarva Soil Summit, visit delmarvasoilsummit.com.