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Fisher: farmers should aim for a whole-systems approach to conservation

A national leader in regenerative ag says farmers interested in adopting conservation practices will need a whole-systems approach.

Barry Fisher tells Brownfield “you can’t change one thing without affecting something else. So, if I decide today I’m going to stop tilling the soil, that’s going to affect some of my nutrient delivery of the soil so I’m going to have to make those adjustments to my nutrient management system.” 

For farmers who want to incorporate a cover crop system, Fisher says, there are things they will need to consider.

“Is my planter set up for this—I may have to make some adjustments and investments in equipment changes on my planter,” he says. “I’m going to have to make some adjustments and investments in my knowledge base. I may need to understand more about the biology in the soil as I integrate a more biologically-driven system.”

Brownfield interviewed Fisher during the recent Regenerative Ag Forum by the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative.

Fisher, an NRCS retiree continues to advocate for conservation through Fisher Soil Health LLC and practices on his own grain and livestock farm in Greencastle, Indiana.

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