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Follow along with this podcast by downloading the PDF presentation where Dennis Chessman shares charts and images displaying his research in soil health.

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Well-functioning soils are teeming with diverse organisms dependent on carbon as an energy source. But typical crop production practices like tillage and seasonal fallow reduce soil organic carbon over time and limit benefits that come from a robust soil biological community, says Dennis Chessman.

The team leader for the NRCS Soil Health Division in Lexington, Ky., will discuss the diversity of organisms present in healthy soils and how a healthy soil ecosystem contributes to important soil functions like water infiltration and nutrient cycling. Chessman will also outline management practices that minimize direct disturbance of soil communities and contribute to building soil organic carbon and helping no-tillers farm more profitably.

Dennis also shares the role carbon plays in promoting proper pore spaces in soils and enhancing soil aggregation and water infiltration. He’ll also review carbon’s role in increasing aggregate stability of soils and the role active and functioning organisms in the soil play in larger soil aggregates to form.







The Cover Crop Strategies podcast series is brought to you by Calmer Corn Heads.

Calmer Corn Heads is home of the world’s first 12-and 15-inch corn heads and residue management upgrade kits. Their patented BT Chopper Stalk Rolls cut, chop and shear cornstalks into confetti-like residue for accelerated decomposition, and have been voted to the No-Till Product of the Year list 5 times by farmers across America. Visit them at

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Intro Music: Adam Selzer - True North

Interlude Music: Alialujah Choir - Little Picture (Instrumental)