This field day is geared toward all BC farmers interested in learning more about cover cropping in agriculture.
Cover cropping is a method of planting that helps build healthy soil and can be practiced in any farming operation. Cover cropping keeps the ground covered and helps with continued carbon sequestration in non-production areas. They significantly reduce emissions from nitrogen fertilizers by providing healthy nutrients to the soil. When carefully chosen and appropriately managed, cover crops can benefit production for farmers and help mitigate climate change.
Farmers will have a chance to see three large test plots with a cover crop mix planted with corn. Each plot receives a different application and is monitored for productivity. Soil sampling is done regularly, and data is recorded diligently to create a useful report when the trial ends. Farmers will have access to this data and information on how each plot performs. The field day will include a field walk to each plot where attendees can asses the cover crops growing, our host will speak about the process and results for each plot and answer questions, and additional guest speakers will lend their experience and expertise to support learning.
About the Host Farm
The ReFeed Farm is located in the heart of the Fraser River delta in Langley, BC. They work directly with partner farms to develop programs, best practices, and new products to help farmers build healthy soil and growing systems. ReFeed works with Davistead farms, a family-run business that has been farming in the Langley Township for over 100 years. Davistead raises dairy cattle, growing forage crops on their land for feed. ReFeed Farms utilizes acreage on Davistead Farms to experiment with growing cover crops amongst forage crops, monitoring for performance and changes in the soil. They plant a mixed cover crop species amongst their corn crop, on three plots that receive different applications.
Robby Gass is the Soil Specialist at ReFeed Farms, bringing 25 years of experience in organic farming and deep expertise in soil microscopy and management. He has decades of experience in conventional farming and spent over a decade running an organic herb farm in South Africa. Robby broadened his in understanding and expertise with a series of roles as an educator and consultant in horticulture and organic farming while earning an MSc in organic farming from SRUC Glasgow University. He attended Dr. Elaine Ingham’s world-renowned Soil Foodweb School in Oregon where he was awarded a certificate in soil microscopy.
Drew is the Metro Vancouver Regional Agrologist for the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and former Executive Director of Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust. Drew has years of experience working with farmers to enhance farmland for soil health and wildlife habitat. He is the Founder of a small business that rescues and delivers off-grade produce and has experience working across the food supply chain. With dual degrees in agroecology and civil engineering, Drew’s educational background has provided training in a wide range of disciplines from project management to soil biology.
Conley is a Regional Agrologist for Sea to Sky, Sunshine Coast, and Central Fraser Valley working in the Extension and Support Services Branch for the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Conley has degrees from Northern Alberta Instituate of Technology and University of British Columbia is geological technology and agroecology and sustainable agriculture. Working previously as a junior agrologist, farm hand, and research assistant for UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems, Conley is dedicated to supporting the development of climate-friendly agriculture.
Image provided by Farm Folk City Folk.