Smart Talk Tuesday: Farmers opting against tilling; Taking steps to protect pollinators

The healthiest soil is the soil that has never been disturbed.” That sentiment was made at the Pennsylvania Farm Show last January by a former state Agriculture Department official who advocates for no till practices.

But how can seeds be planted and crops grown without disturbing the soil?

The Pennsylvania No Till Alliance is made up of a group of farmers that employ planting and crop growing methods to maintain or improve soil quality and are better for the environment, including waterways.

Appearing on Tuesday’s Smart Talk to discuss no till farming (and gardening) are Jim Hershey, President of the Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance and a farmer in Lancaster County; Lisa Blazure , Soil Health Coordinator with the Stroud Water Research Center, and Steve Groff, a farmer in Lancaster County, who is a cover crop/hemp educator.

National Pollinator Week is just ending. With all the challenges facing the world today, honeybee colony collapse may not be near the top of a list of priorities.

But considering one-third of the world’s food supply depend on pollinators and more than 20% of honeybees died from colony collapse last winter, maybe it should be.

Steps are being taken to protect honeybees and other pollinators including a move by Giant Food Stores to set aside seven acres at their Carlisle headquarters for pollinators.

Joining us on Tuesday’s Smart Talk are Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Fred Strathmeyer and State Apiarist Karen Roccasecca.