Farming with: dad Mike, uncle Tony and families
Working on: heavy Brookston clay loam soil 3100 CHU
Strategy: To improve soil health we have added cover crops to our no-till operation. We strive to have all our acres covered ‘green’ heading into the winter. Our main goals, depending on the next years crops, are to produce, scavenge and store nutrients, build carbon in the soil and increase our soil organic matter (SOM). We want to increase water infiltration on all our acres and of course feed the micro organisms in the soil all year long.
Results: We have been slowly building our SOM over the years with no-till and a 3 crop rotation, but since adding covers over the last 4 yrs we have greatly increased all aspects of soil health not just improving our SOM.
Why make a change?
We are motivated to improve our soils because the soil needs to be there for the next generation to manage. Overall farm profitability will ultimately come with improved soil health.
Where do you get info?
Mostly from my own experimenting but I also watching fellow farmers that manage their soil like we do,via Twitter and the internet. Workshops are providing a great opportunity to learn and network as well.
Advice: Start slow with small acres of cover crops. Also get out and take a look at your soils and soil structure watch how it reacts in the winter and in the summer.