Soil Health Reaches Beyond Just No-Till

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."

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Soil health = plant health = animal health

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.

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Frost Seeding - Protecting Your Bottom Line in Your Down Time

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.

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