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Soil Health

Soil Health

Want access to water, nutrients? Look deeper, expert tells farmers The scientist who wrote the book on soils wants farmers to look deeper. Literally. Dr. Ray Weil, author of the 15th edition of The Nature and Property of Soils, wants farmers to consider the soil’s nutrient and water-holding capacity below the top 8-10 inches of soil. Decades of heavy compaction, combined with tillage, have created nearly impenetrable layers of dense soil called “plow-pans,” making it difficult for most crops to reach moisture and nutrients below the topsoil. Go underground to learn more. It’s science you can really dig.

Getting a Handle on Mineralizable N in Soils There's an old adage that says 'what you cannot measure, you cannot manage". For example, what if you could accurately measure all of the nitrogen in your soils? We joined Dr. Rick Haney in Temple, TX to talk about his breakthrough research in this area. 



No-till WORKS. A South Dakota farmer shares his experience with cover cropping and its benefits.


OPTIMIZING THE COVER CROP BASED NO-TILL SYSTEM Interest in organic no-till production continues to grow amongst both organic and traditional farmers wanting to integrate cover crops and alternative weed management strategies into their farming strategies.

This video demonstrates some basic components to integrate cover crop based no-till on Wisconsin farms, as well as some specific equipment modifications to make the technique more successful. Used in soybean crop.

BENEFITS OF NO-TILL WITH COVER CROPS Dave Grommesh, producer in NW Minnesota, shows how he grows corn and soybeans using no-till practices with cover crops. He demonstrates how he inter-seeds cover crops into his corn fields. He talks about the economic and soil health benefits of using cover crops and no-till practices including better water infiltration, weed suppression, erosion protection, and increased profits, especially when grazing his cattle in corn stocks that have been inter-seeded with cover crops.

Vertical till

 Vertical till

BENEFTIS TO USING VERTICAL TILLAGE Vertical tillage (VT) tools can be an effective way to maintain residue and prevent soil erosion while still preparing the soil for planting. Dr. Matt Darr explores the benefits of using a VT tool to help you decide if it would be useful for your operation.

PRINCIPALS OF VERTICAL TILLAGE What is true vertical tillage? This video defines true vertical tillage and covers the agronomic benefits of this conservation tillage practice.

PRIMARY VERTICAL TILLAGE DONE RIGHT How do we know if we are running our in-line ripper deep enough for successful vertical tillage? So many failures in vertical till start with the failure to do primary tillage correctly. There is nothing we can do with spring harrows and planter settings to fix the ills of poorly done vertical primary tillage. This video will help you get the foundation of your vertical till program right.


Strip till

 STRIP-TILL LESSONS FROM THE NORTHERN PLAINS  Jodi DeJong-Hughes, of the University of Minnesota, discusses how best to adopt strip tillage and avoid some of the common pitfalls farmers face when changing practices.

STRIP-TILL TIPS FOR SUCCESS  Despite the hustle to get tillage done in the fall, Ken warns strip-tillers to remember they are laying the foundation for what they will be planting into next spring. He walks through a couple of tips in this Agronomic Minute to make sure it is setting you up for success for next season.

BENEFITS OF STRIP-TILL Gary Haak,Thurston Mfg. sales representative for North Dakota, South Dakota and western Minnesota, explains the benefits of strip-tilling at the Oct. 24, 2012, field day north of Ruthville, N.D.

Cover cropping

cover cropping

COVER CROP SUCCESS ON THE DAIRY FARM Join us as local dairy farmer, Ben Daley, explains how & why his family uses cover crops on their 1,500 cow farm outside of Lewiston, MN. The Daley family strategically uses cover crops to help them best manage their liquid dairy manure while protecting our precious soil and water resources here in SE Minnesota. In fall of 2020 they seeded 900 acres of cover crops.

SUCCESS WITH NO-TILL AND COVER CROPS  Come along as Myron Sylling shares his journey into Soil Health including 25 plus years of No-Till along with cover cropping six years on all of their 1,400 acres. Myron has been successfully & profitably no-till farming with his brother, Mikal, and father, Karl near Spring Grove, MN. While solid yields are important, net profit per acre and soil health benefits are what drives the Sylling family. 

COVER CROPS BASICS - the benefits of growing cover crops.

EQUIPMENT FOR COVER CROPPING  Michigan State University Educator Paul Gross discusses some of the equipment options available for seeding cover crops. 

Michigan Soybean CEO Janna Fritz talks with Andrew Hasenick of Hasenick Farms in Springport, MI about cover crops, planting green and the results he's seen on his farm from implementing these practices.

COVER CROP PRACTICES  Nathan Clarke of Clarke Farms in Coleman, Michigan describes his cover crop practices and use of the MCCC (Midwest Cover Crops Councilcover crop selector tool.

REGENERATIVE FARMING - Outside Bismarck, ND is a ranch that exemplifies a quiet revolution in commercial agriculture. Gabe & Paul Brown are a father and son who are not shy about showing off their beautiful land and visibly happy livestock. They practice what they call “Regenerative Farming” - a set of practices that encourage biodiversity and the natural enrichment of untilled soils. Improving soil health is a priority and no-till farming has been practiced since 1993. A diverse cropping strategy, which includes cover and companion crops are used. They have elimnated the use of synthetic fertilizers, fungicides, and pesticides and use no GMO crops. 

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