Category Archives: Soil Quality

National Effort to Expand Use of Cover Crops

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research launched a national effort to expand use of cover crops. Called the Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms initiative, the group includes the USDA as well. It is a collaborative, multi-partner research effort to improve soil health in the … Continue reading

Posted in General Information, Soil Quality | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Whipsaw Weather Calls for Prayers…and Cover Crops

The coldest April on record to the hottest May on record…the Midwest can’t catch a break! Now mid-summer, people wonder whether more radical weather or trade and tariff issues will derail the current crops in the field. Perhaps this is … Continue reading

Posted in General Information, Soil Quality | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Understanding the Nitrogen Advantage of Annual Ryegrass

Let’s review the facts about nitrogen, in the context of growing corn in the Midwest, and the connection to ryegrass as a cover crop. One, corn needs a lot of nitrogen, and if corn is planted year after year in … Continue reading

Posted in General Information, Soil Quality | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Earth Fix Boosts Production and Profit

More than a decade ago, it was becoming clear that runoff from farm acreage was choking fresh water flowing south from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico. Satellite images, water testing and production declines in fisheries pointed to … Continue reading

Posted in General Information, Soil Quality | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Ryegrass and other Cover Crops – Benefits the Purse and the Earth

You have undoubtedly read, or experienced, the following effects by stopping cultivation, adopting no-till agriculture practices and then planting cover crops, such as annual ryegrass. Saving on fuel costs by reducing the trips over the field Reducing or eliminating soil … Continue reading

Posted in General Information, Soil Quality | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Buzz about the Value of Cover Crops

“The good news is, soil will improve every year you grow a cover crop,” said Dan Towery, a crop consultant, and owner of Ag Conservation Solutions, living in West Lafayette, Ind.. “How soon you see measurable yield improvement depends on … Continue reading

Posted in Dan's Digs, General Information, Soil Quality | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Annual Ryegrass Eliminates Fragipan Scourge

Fragipan, that compacted soil preventing crop root penetration, covers an estimated 50 million acres of farmland in the eastern US. Tillage, even deep ripping, didn’t begin to contend with the deeper compaction and layers of fragipan. Then in the late 1990s, … Continue reading

Posted in General Information, Soil Quality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Annual Ryegrass Plugging Through another Winter

While the temperatures plunge and the snow whirls, annual ryegrass top growth has been dormant for months. But under the freeze, the annual ryegrass roots continue to flourish, adding depth, girth and mass to a system that builds healthy soil … Continue reading

Posted in General Information, Soil Quality | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CTIC 2017 Report – Another Banner Year for Cover Crops – And a Double Win for You

The Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) published a 2017 report of another annual survey of people using cover crops. Here are the first paragraphs from the report:   Following the use of cover crops, farmers reported increased yields of corn, … Continue reading

Posted in General Information, Soil Quality | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ray Weil on Cover Crop Benefits

Ray Weil was a guest speaker at the 2017 National No-Tillage Conference in St. Louis. His presentation focused on how cover crops benefit soil nutrient levels not only in topsoils, but in lower depths as well. Ray is a Univ. … Continue reading

Posted in General Information, Soil Quality | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment