I agree that reducing soil erosion is incredibly important, but some farmers that attempt "soil health" seem to think that it's all just about planting a cover crop mostly to help minimize erosion. Then they till it in, turn it black and watch their valuable soil wash and blow away.
But those who choose this route are missing the point and haven't yet gained a good understanding of what soil health is all about. Health invariably has to do with LIFE. Dead soil has no life in it. It's then called "dirt." Read More
It is amazing the difference in animal health on different pastures. In many cases, this can be attributed to plant health, which is a product of healthy soil. In the major commodities, there is lots of talk of cover crops for several reasons; one is soil health. With a healthy soil, there is less plant diseases and in some cases, even less insect pressure.
In addition, some species of forages have natural worming attributes that, along with healthy plants, make a positive difference in animal performance. The unfortunate thing is how hard it is to research the relationship between soil health, plant health and animal health.
This is being noticed in nonbackgrounded calves put on healthier pastures the first couple of weeks after going through the auction yards. Death loss is considerably reduced from 3 to less than 1 percent. Read More
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Cover crops have been promoted for their abilities to reduce erosion and retain or enhance soil nutrients. Now there is evidence that they can significantly reduce weed seeds from entering the soil seed bank. Read More
Long proven effective through the natural reseeding of birdsfoot trefoil along with the “volunteer” appearance of red clover and white clover, frost seeding can provide an easy and inexpensive way to renovate a pasture during the winter months. The freezing and thawing of the ground and early spring rains provide coverage for the seed and reduce the need for additional input rendering frost seeding a cost-effective and efficient solution to establishing legumes in an existing pasture. Read More
In our area (Central IL) we have had an interesting Spring - huge rain event a few weeks ago (7"+), up and down temps, dust storm 2 days ago and raining now. It was very nice the last few days - sunshine and pleasant temps so most finished planting in our area. Read More
The spray skip pictured below could be seen as a mistake, but we think it is an excellent opportunity to share an effective termination of cover crops. Read More
Shawnde Bausch joined Saddle Butte in November of 2016. Shawnde has had little experience in agriculture and after completing her first field tour wrote the following: Read More
4 Way Mix - Fall Seeded, Strip Tilled, Burn Down Read More
It is time for those that are doing or thinking about doing in-crop cover crop application (air or high clearance ground app) to have your seed lined up and communications with your custom applicator. Some have received good rainfall recently and with the crops moving along, it might be a year where in-crop seeding could be more successful. Read More
As the soil health improves, the habitat for slugs tends to improve also. It is advisable to consider adding scouting for slugs to part of your management plan. Here are some ideas on how to scout for slugs. Read More
Each member of our Bio Till Cover Crop team will be taking turns writing these blog posts. You may also see a few guest appearances from our incredibly educational Bio Till Dealer Network. Read More