Kensington North Watersheds Association

Promoting Soil Health and Conservation:

Agriculture Stewardship Project 2015-2018

(2018-05-28) Soil organic matter is the foundation of sustainable production systems. The collective knowledge of our soils on Prince Edward Island has revealed trends that are causing some alarm and encouraging farmers to consider new soil management practices. There is also a concern that a gradual decrease in soil organic matter on PEI is being paralleled by gradually decreasing yields. Decreasing soil health conditions also poses environmental concern as soil erosion, and nutrient transport from agriculture land has been shown to negatively impact watercourses on Prince Edward Island. As a result, a multi-year project between Kensington North Watershed Association (KNWSA) and the PEI Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (PEIDAF) began in the spring of 2015 to promote best management practices that improve soil health and promote soil conservation through on-farm demonstrations and extension activities with growers from within the Kensington North area.

From 2015 to early 2018, several projects have been undertaken on farms spanning from Malpeque Bay west to New London Bay east with the KNWSA. Specific goals that were associated with the project included:

  1. Assess soil quality and productivity within various crop rotations with all-encompassing approach using the Cornell Soil Health procedure.
  2. Demonstrate residual tillage cultivators and compare their performance to mouldboard plough with field trials in regards to soil health.
  3. Perform field trials with cover crops, catch crops and nurse crops, to promote erosion control, nutrient capture, and soil health.
  4. Work with other agricultural groups, watershed groups, government departments and farmers toward a protocol for performing, joining, reporting, and accessing results for field trials and other appropriate material.

Click here to view the full report. (1.5 MB)

And click here to view the updated Soil Health Infographic.

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