A few thoughts on soil

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stang67
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Re: A few thoughts on soil

Postby stang67 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:41 pm

The data is there. Is data enough to overcome generations of habit? That's the question.

There are myriad youtube vids. Search Ray Archuleta, Jill Clapperton, Gabe Brown, soil food web, permaculture. This is not a fad.
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Re: A few thoughts on soil

Postby DanP » Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:39 am

The data is there, but not from around here. The principles are true, but we have a lot of work to do figuring out how to make it work here in a production ag setting where the profits have to be maintained or improved every year. Thanks to our climate our soils have lost organic matter at a much faster rate than the midwest and northern states where most of the cover crop and soil health work is gaining traction. The result is very low OM and poor particle aggregation and basic soil structure. Tillage is used to temporarily create structure and pore space, break up compaction, manage weeds/pests, etc. Just switching to no-till has been tried and for the most part it failed. Cover crops have been tried but the economic benefit hasn't been proven. Reducing tillage and introducing cover crops are where we are now, and there are an increasing number of farmers who are finding success. In about two more years we will be able to fill in the economic piece with confidence. In another week or so we will have a new website out containing all the details from this years cover crop trials. I will post up the link soon.
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stang67
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Re: A few thoughts on soil

Postby stang67 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:10 am

They say to worry about the soil, not yields, and it'll all work. Easy for me to say! :lol:
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Re: A few thoughts on soil

Postby DanP » Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:33 pm

http://www.mscovercrop.com/

Finally have the website up and running. We have a lot more information to add but this is a start.
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stang67
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Re: A few thoughts on soil

Postby stang67 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:33 pm

To the top. The thread's about soil, and this is a great video about just that.

Gail Fuller Farming in Natures Image: https://youtu.be/IRC8R2r9nJI
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SB
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Re: A few thoughts on soil

Postby SB » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:09 am

Nice website, Dan. Looks good.
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Re: A few thoughts on soil

Postby SWAG » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:11 am

Like Dan said...some data is there, and some is not, especially from the South and specifically the Delta region of ArkLaMiss. Information coming over the next 3, 5, and 10 years will change some habits I think, but probably not in the way you see on some of the videos.
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Re: A few thoughts on soil

Postby stang67 » Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:03 am

i feel sure that, for you guys more learned in this subject than I am, some of what is in these videos seems like snake oil, or plain impossible for this region. If so, which parts?
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Re: A few thoughts on soil

Postby DanP » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:23 pm

This is my personal opinion... I think that many of the claims are legit and science based. I do not buy in to some local claims that our particular climate and landscape make this approach impossible. You have to be more flexible with tillage, but I've seen it work in Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. The limitation, in my opinion, is an overall lack of willingness or capacity to intensify management. If you look at this from a global and historic perspective, its only a matter of time before a change is necessitated to maintain lands in production agriculture.
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Re: A few thoughts on soil

Postby DUCK-HUNT » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:54 pm

Been forgetting to ask

Dan

Did yall plant some of the tillage radishes/cover crop on the south side of inside horseshoe church rd last fall??


Eta.....

I've been on pops and lil bro about trying some of the no till throw and grow methods or at least starting some OM build on some of our stuff. They both still like to smell fresh dirt and burn diesel too much to try at this point.

With the new waters of the U.S. Definitions and language we are much better off with a proactive approach rather than a sit back and wait till somebody tells me to do something different
Get em WET!............Their feet that is.
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Re: A few thoughts on soil

Postby DanP » Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:01 pm

DUCK-HUNT wrote:Been forgetting to ask

Dan

Did yall plant some of the tillage radishes/cover crop on the south side of inside horseshoe church rd last fall??



Not that I know of...
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Re: A few thoughts on soil

Postby stang67 » Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:26 pm

DUCK-HUNT wrote:I've been on pops and lil bro about trying some of the no till throw and grow methods or at least starting some OM build on some of our stuff. They both still like to smell fresh dirt and burn diesel too much to try at this point.

They're probably waiting on you to buy em a NT drill.
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Re: A few thoughts on soil

Postby SWAG » Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:16 pm

Limiting our tillage can accomplish a lot of what you see in the videos. Also allowing natural winter vegetation to germinate and live thru the winter months will do some of what we are asking from the cover crops. Dan is right. We have a long ways to go to just open up the mind set with producers. There was a time in the 90s when no-till practices and acreage was growing steady. People turned to no-till for economic reasons more than they did conservation. But people saw some things during those 10-15 years. Better infiltration, less soil loss, conserved soil moisture, ability to get on wet soils earlier, etc, etc. Just getting people to remember is huge. We are now a fall plow, long term winter residual applied, plant early, irrigate often type of system for major acreage in MS. Furrow irrigation, while boosting yields and incomes during these higher commodity priced years, has got us into a system that is hard to get out of. $$$$ counts...baby needs diapers, Momma needs shoes, house needs a roof. Conservation practices such as no-till, no fall applied residual, cover crops....they have to come with one and/or two things....they need to boost yields or cut inputs. That is the bottom line that will sell. Sustainability....that is the soil, the water, the finances...all of it, mean a tremendous amount to the 4th and 5th and 6th generation farmers who love the land and want the farm to be there for the next generation and the next generation. Sustainability can sell conservation to those farmers....but there is still a lot of people and a lot of acres out there that yield increase and/or lower inputs are the #1 data needed for change. Can't be just an assumption that yields are boosted or inputs are cut....has to have the actual #s tied to it. That is hard to do, #1 because it takes a few years for the "new" system to start showing the bigger results and #2 because there are so many other variables in play (rainfall, drought, soil types, natural fertility, etc.) The data will come, even if ever so slowly....and we will see change, even if ever so slowly. Great thing is we are headed in the right direction. We are now at least opening up to these options. I have (had) some fields that were no-tilled from '94 - '11. These are dryland acres. A rutted harvest made me till some of those acres that had not seen anything but a planter, a sprayer, and a combine for years and years. I am not talking about stale seedbed but true no-till. Not hard to see the advantages when you look at such a long period. Longer periods of good soil moisture, reduced weed seed in the top 2-4 inches with no disturbance, rainfall infiltration instead of run-off....you can go on and on. During a time of lower prices and the need for reduced inputs in order to survive...it worked. Thank goodness for RR technology when it came. Over time as commodity prices have increased, land has been leveled, varieties have made yield increases, more acres have turned from dryland to irrigated.....we fell into the system we are in now. Can it change??? Sure it can...and will. People like Dan and others who see the long term and want to make sure that we can be conservative AND profitable at the same time will start that change. I do not think it will be quick and I do think there will be setbacks (North Delta this year as example was very wet therefore the system we are stuck in now worked very well as producers with fall prepared fields and no weeds to slow burndown applications got a better start to a cold wet Spring), but overall there will be change.
Are we gonna get wet?
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Re: A few thoughts on soil

Postby SWAG » Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:21 pm

Did not mean to write a book :lol: :lol: :lol: , actually left alot out, but this is a great topic.

Oh yea,,,,pigweed is not helping :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
Are we gonna get wet?
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Re: A few thoughts on soil

Postby stang67 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:47 pm

Was hoping you'd chime in. Appreciate your perspective. Can you explain how the furrow irrigation has you in a routine that's hard to get out of? Do you mean that, with irrigation available, some of the infiltration benefits of these other methods is less meaningful to your system? In other words, is improved infiltration less important since you have all the "precipitation" you need?

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