A family farm has learned that improving soil health improves their ability to endure more extreme weather
Jim Harbach operates Schrack Farms Resources with his brother-in-law Kevin Schrack in Clinton County, Pennsylvania. Having practiced no-till farming for 30 years, and in recent decades adopting the use of cover crops, Harbach sees the benefits of these conservation practices to his harvest yields as well as the soil.
Harbach has documented how his soils can better withstand the extreme weather swings associated with climate change. The increased organic matter in Harbach’s fields soaks up runoff before it pollutes nearby Fishing Creek, which is a class A wild trout stream. The soil also sequesters more carbon.
Rather than referring to the farm’s soil health practices as sustainable, Harbach describes his approach as regenerative farming. The goal is to not only maintain the soil, but continually improve it.
Schrack Farms, which is part of the No-Till Alliance, also was an early adopter of a methane biodigester to generate electricity and reduce emissions. In 2018, the farm was named Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year by the International Dairy Foods Association and Dairy Herd Management magazine.
- Produced by Will Parson
- Music/Audio: "Morning Colorwheel" and "Careless Morning" by Blue Dot Sessions, via FreeMusicArchive.org
- Special thanks to Jim Harbach and Lisa Blazure