Last week we looked at the important role of carbon in plant growth and soil health (Read “Building Soil Carbon on Your Farm”). Soil carbon and its sequestration have become major buzzwords in agriculture and are getting a lot of attention from spectators worldwide. Climate change and the perceived demise of our cropland has piqued … More Soil Carbon – What is it and how do we measure it?
The modern approach to agriculture is focused on the production of monoculture crops (one plant species grown at once). Production often includes practices such as tilling in fall or spring to prep the seedbed, followed by the addition of synthetic fertilizers for optimum yield. The latest and greatest seed varieties are then planted which could … More Keep your microbes happy!
Global food production occurs on 11% of the world’s arable land, with 95% of the food being produced in topsoil. Some studies report that almost half of the world’s topsoil has been lost since the implementation of modern farming practices in the 20th Century. Healthy topsoil can take 500 years to develop and less than … More The Dark Side of Tillage
Last week I was able to participate in the annual DIRT workshop hosted by NDSU that focusses on soil health. Now, I can almost guarantee that most producers reading this article have heard the term “soil health” but may not be familiar with what these terms mean for them or their farm. Therefore, I have … More What exactly is soil health?
The face of farming has changed over time from breaking ground and ploughing with a horse to GPS, autosteer equipment, and autonomous tractors. If you were to survey people about their feelings of change, most would say they don’t like it. Humans are hard wired to perceive change as a threat and usually respond with … More Embrace change… it’s constant and inevitable
Conducting field scale trials is not new. When we look back on the history of farm trials, most producers will remember a sales rep coming to their farm and offering a jug of this or a jug of that try on a few acres. There wasn’t anything complicated about it. The producer would throw the … More When is a trial not a trial?
I recently participated in a Faculty conversation hosted by the Department of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba to discuss the importance of improving soil health and producer profitability within the 4R Nutrient Stewardship framework. This framework was developed as a guideline for producers to do things “Right” on their farm in terms of fertilizer … More Working to support sustainable food production systems
A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a prospect about the benefits of annual sampling. The producer said they didn’t know if it was worth sampling every year as the results are usually unreliable. He found he didn’t end up using them for planning purposes and felt there was limited value for the … More Are you extracting the full value from your soil samples?
This past fall I was fortunate to be invited on an agronomy tour of Eastern Europe organized by Horsch LLC. We toured several different farms in SE Ukraine, the Czech Republic and some manufacturing plants in Germany. While on this tour, Michael Horsch, founder and co-owner of Horsch LLC, challenged us to rethink the way … More Old habits can be hard to break!
“Take trial results with a grain of salt unless you have all the trial data at your disposal, you know the trial layout and you’ve been provided all the stats, otherwise the results could be made to show you what they want you to see.” … More Take it with a grain of salt…