HMI’s Online Learning Series Getting Started Holistic Cropping Planning course ran from January to February 2020 with 25 participants from the United States, Australia, and Canada. This course focused on giving participants the tools to grow healthy crops, healthy soil, and healthy profits. In this course participants learned how to effectively manage their cropland and cropping practices to increase soil fertility and resilience as well as increase production and profitability from their cropping practices. They learned how to complete crop production planning all in the context of regenerative and conservation agriculture. This curriculum was developed with input from master farmers and educators and explains key cropping concepts such as no-till, cover cropping, cocktail seeding, mulching, intercropping, shelterbelts, perennial crops, and integrating livestock. This course provided numerous planning worksheets and templates as well as examples of completed worksheets and a long list of multi-media resources for further study.
Colin Seis and Gabe Brown joined the course as guest speakers for a special Q&A session after the live webinars. The students really enjoyed hearing about their experiences and picking their brains for all things cropping!
Getting Started Holistic Cropping Planning Course Survey Results:
|Knowledge/Behavior and Confidence Increase||% Increase|
|Soil fertility building principles and practices||100%|
|How to integrate livestock into cropping practices||95%|
|How to identify crop management issues and address them profitably||95%|
|Understanding how key practices like cover crops, polyseeding, permaculture, interplanting, and perennial crops can work together to create resilient and profitable landscapes.||95%|
|Create a crop plan that addresses both cash crops and ecosystem strategies||95%|
|Create a field map for ease of management||100%|
|Prioritize management decisions to integrate ecosystem strategies with cash crops||93%|
|Learn how to implement crop plans and address crop management issues||100%|
|Overall satisfaction with the course||100%|