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Apr 5, 2020 | 17:28 31
Quote Originally Posted by M9016 View Post
I’d just like to see his proof. 7% om is big time if he is there?
you must be in some moondust ?
6-7 pretty normal here, some higher Reply With Quote
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  • Apr 5, 2020 | 18:09 32 Soil Organic Matter has always been of great interest to me and so I have read a lot about the subject. One of the best and most in depth studies I saw and read about, they were able to increase OM by about a 20th of a per cent per year, so in 20 years you may raise it a percent.

    The other thing is you have old stable humus which gives soil its color, it is fairly hard to affect. Then you have the active portion which you can have some effect on.

    I am "Blessed" to farm some dark grey wooded as well. What a different beast than deep black adjacent soils! The black is so strong and resilient, the grey very unforgiving and way less naturally productive. No till has certainly helped. Will I turn the grey stuff black? Never. But it sure can show improvement and become as productive as the richer black if you are careful. My current best soil is a higher rolling field that was in alfalfa for 30 or so years before I bought it. Dark grey wooded. But the life in the soil, the tilth and the active portion of OM makes it deceivingly rich. It is my lowest assessed land. Which is one of the reasons I don't believe much about assessment values! There is soil not far away that is pretty well white. THAT is a hard soil to farm! Perennial forage is the best thing for it. Leaving it in trees may have been better. lol Reply With Quote
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  • Apr 26, 2020 | 01:24 33 Great thread. More information when you read
    Hago Reply With Quote
    Apr 26, 2020 | 07:44 34 I have been researching cover crops and have been listening to Gabe Brown lately, now that is INTERESTING stuff.

    I think more and more we in production ag have it all wrong and are missing the mark. It is not a sustainable model.

    We need crop diversity, we need intensive animal impact, and we need to stop using pesticides so much. If we want to increase organic matter. It is what nature did. With no outside chemical inputs, soil was built. With heavy animal traffic, soil was built. With diverse rangeland species, soil was built.

    Hard to build soil with a few crops grown separately. Hard to build soil without animals. And we need to seriously contemplate our chemical addiction.

    We aren’t feeding to soil, we’re feeding the crop. Feeding the crop is not going to improve soils much imho.
    Last edited by Sheepwheat; Apr 26, 2020 at 08:56.
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  • Apr 26, 2020 | 08:15 35 Ours hasn’t changed much. Been in the 6-7.5 range for years. If the crops are good and u don’t burn straw or bale it it shouldn’t go down. Keeping your fertility up is key. Whether it be synthetic or animal waste. Like SF3 says u can’t replace fertility with the stuff we buy versus the real thing like pig shit. We have fields we dumped pig shit and cow shit on and the production over the years is remarkable. Problem is that there isn’t enuf to go around. The other thing is that when u put animal waste on your field it is good for the biological bugs that love it. Other problem however is that we don’t truly understand how it works together. Maybe someday. Reply With Quote
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  • Apr 26, 2020 | 09:24 36 We quit pigs 15 years ago and even now we will see a 1.5% increase in protein and about a 10% increase in yields. Wish we could be spreading $hit yet but don’t miss the pigs. Reply With Quote
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  • Apr 26, 2020 | 10:18 37 We follow our organic matter a lot more closely than we used to. I have soil test reports from back in the late 60's on our land but they didn't normally list the OM. Our soils are way lower than most of you guys. On land that was bought fairly recently that was long term organic production , the organic levels WERE very low. Across the road from this is our long term zero till land. i expect it will take a lot more years to build it more. I remember Guy Lafond doing research where after a long time they were able to get the cultivated land similar to the unbroken fence row. For our land if we can get to 4.5 % we are doing good. I do know of guys farming good land in the brown soil zone that grow big crops on land with organic matter under 3. Reply With Quote
    Apr 26, 2020 | 10:31 38
    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    do know of guys farming good land in the brown soil zone that grow big crops on land with organic matter under 3.
    IMPOSSIBLE.... once you've had black you will never go back!

    Reply With Quote
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  • Blaithin's Avatar May 3, 2020 | 16:38 41
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepwheat View Post
    I have been researching cover crops and have been listening to Gabe Brown lately, now that is INTERESTING stuff.

    I think more and more we in production ag have it all wrong and are missing the mark. It is not a sustainable model.

    We need crop diversity, we need intensive animal impact, and we need to stop using pesticides so much. If we want to increase organic matter. It is what nature did. With no outside chemical inputs, soil was built. With heavy animal traffic, soil was built. With diverse rangeland species, soil was built.

    Hard to build soil with a few crops grown separately. Hard to build soil without animals. And we need to seriously contemplate our chemical addiction.

    We aren’t feeding to soil, we’re feeding the crop. Feeding the crop is not going to improve soils much imho.
    You might enjoy reading through this thread on this forum

    There's not lots of talk directed straight at cropping and most of them are in wetter climates than anyone on the Prairies (Ironically people in wet environments like to use the "it's too wet here to do that" excuse as much as people around here use the "it's too dry" excuse). There is one Aussie that talks about things he's done during the drought though. There is definitely talk about grazing, rotating, litter and cover crops. The odd mention of trying to utilize grazers in a crop rotation.

    It's a bit of a novel to read from the start but pretty much all farmers talking about how and what they're trying and the results. Reply With Quote
    May 3, 2020 | 22:17 42
    Quote Originally Posted by Blaithin View Post
    You might enjoy reading through this thread on this forum

    There's not lots of talk directed straight at cropping and most of them are in wetter climates than anyone on the Prairies (Ironically people in wet environments like to use the "it's too wet here to do that" excuse as much as people around here use the "it's too dry" excuse). There is one Aussie that talks about things he's done during the drought though. There is definitely talk about grazing, rotating, litter and cover crops. The odd mention of trying to utilize grazers in a crop rotation.

    It's a bit of a novel to read from the start but pretty much all farmers talking about how and what they're trying and the results.
    Great thanks! Will have a look. Reply With Quote
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    SASKFARMER's Avatar May 8, 2020 | 06:17 45 Our soil tests show were on average 6.9 to few a bit higher. Reply With Quote
    May 8, 2020 | 06:41 46
    Quote Originally Posted by SASKFARMER View Post
    Our soil tests show were on average 6.9 to few a bit higher.
    Organic matter or organic carbon? There's a difference. And what protocol was followed when capturing the sample? Did you take the sample yourself or was it a uni student or contractor or biassed agronomist? Did the sampler include the trash laying on top or not? Is the sample from 0-6 inches or? 6.9 means **** all without more info TIA
    Last edited by Bin Lurking; May 8, 2020 at 06:49.
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    Jun 4, 2020 | 01:39 51
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepwheat View Post
    I have been researching cover crops and have been listening to Gabe Brown lately, now that is INTERESTING stuff.

    I think more and more we in production ag have it all wrong and are missing the mark. It is not a sustainable model.

    We need crop diversity, we need intensive animal impact, and we need to stop using pesticides so much. If we want to increase organic matter. It is what nature did. With no outside chemical inputs, soil was built. With heavy animal traffic, soil was built. With diverse rangeland species, soil was built.

    Hard to build soil with a few crops grown separately. Hard to build soil without animals. And we need to seriously contemplate our chemical addiction.

    We aren’t feeding to soil, we’re feeding the crop. Feeding the crop is not going to improve soils much imho.
    I agree , but here in lies the problem...
    Gabe Browns system works ..... but with livestock , without livestock it’s a fairy tail
    So , what will happen in a world where we all get into this system, what happens to livestock prices ????? If we all get into it , what happens?
    Your lucrative side business becomes worthless along with everyone else no ? Just asking cause the animal market period is under massive scrutiny now with the under 30 crowd .
    Just food for thought , I may be wrong

    You can , and we are doing it , feed the soils outside the box , it’s not difficult with a diverse crop rotation and less reliance on salt fertilizer.
    DYODD Reply With Quote
    Jun 4, 2020 | 06:20 52
    Quote Originally Posted by furrowtickler View Post
    I agree , but here in lies the problem...
    Gabe Browns system works ..... but with livestock , without livestock it’s a fairy tail
    So , what will happen in a world where we all get into this system, what happens to livestock prices ????? If we all get into it , what happens?
    Your lucrative side business becomes worthless along with everyone else no ? Just asking cause the animal market period is under massive scrutiny now with the under 30 crowd .
    Just food for thought , I may be wrong

    You can , and we are doing it , feed the soils outside the box , it’s not difficult with a diverse crop rotation and less reliance on salt fertilizer.
    DYODD
    There is an issue there. But face it, almost no farmer wants animals anymore. So I will assume this type of system will scarcely be looked at. Even if it is the only way to improve and build soil fast. Reply With Quote
    Jun 4, 2020 | 06:38 53
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepwheat View Post
    There is an issue there. But face it, almost no farmer wants animals anymore. So I will assume this type of system will scarcely be looked at. Even if it is the only way to improve and build soil fast.
    Very true .
    And yes I too believe it has merit.
    It has a great fit for certain areas and certain producers .
    Selling direct to customers as your doing and we have done with sweet corn 🌽 will only get bigger and bigger as mistrust in the current food chain grows .
    It will be interesting to see how far these animal activists continue to push their agendas though. They are a radical bunch Reply With Quote
    Blaithin's Avatar Jun 4, 2020 | 13:05 54 Would no arable farmers be willing to make deals and partnerships with their livestock neighbours?

    Seed the field with cover crops in the main cash crop, harvest, put the livestock in for stockpiled fall and winter forage.

    Take a field or fields in the rotation, seed them to hay/pasture/diverse cover crop blend, bale graze or strip graze neighbours livestock on it in winter for a few years.

    If deals can be worked out to get livestock on crop land over the winter months the livestock farmer can potentially save on yardage costs and the arable farmer can potentially save on input costs while improving soil quality.

    There are numerous potential benefits and the only option to access them doesn’t have to be arable farmers getting back into livestock. Reply With Quote
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  • Jun 4, 2020 | 13:21 55
    Quote Originally Posted by Blaithin View Post
    Would no arable farmers be willing to make deals and partnerships with their livestock neighbours?

    Seed the field with cover crops in the main cash crop, harvest, put the livestock in for stockpiled fall and winter forage.

    Take a field or fields in the rotation, seed them to hay/pasture/diverse cover crop blend, bale graze or strip graze neighbours livestock on it in winter for a few years.

    If deals can be worked out to get livestock on crop land over the winter months the livestock farmer can potentially save on yardage costs and the arable farmer can potentially save on input costs while improving soil quality.

    There are numerous potential benefits and the only option to access them doesn’t have to be arable farmers getting back into livestock.
    IN areas with livestock absolutely.
    Problem is here so many guys dropped livestock long ago. Very few left locally. Areas north and west of here have lots of cattle operations where there is ample pasture . Reply With Quote
    Blaithin's Avatar Jun 4, 2020 | 13:34 56
    Quote Originally Posted by furrowtickler View Post
    IN areas with livestock absolutely.
    Problem is here so many guys dropped livestock long ago. Very few left locally. Areas north and west of here have lots of cattle operations where there is ample pasture .
    There’s not many with livestock in this area either. However many of the ones that do have them actually end up trucking them over an hour away towards Hand Hills and Special Areas for summer grazing. If they’re willing to truck for summer, why not fall or winter. Nothing would beat the convenience of up the road of course, but I don’t think distance should be a big detractor of the idea.

    There are backgrounding operations that truck cattle from south central Alberta up to Winfield area and east central Alberta and as far out as east Saskatchewan. A couple week pit stop at a field or two of fall stockpile can save them yardage and give great impact on the arable farmers land.

    As a renter I’ve had people come up with the stupidest reasons for not renting out land. “Well it’s only 10 acres so you shouldn’t want to rent it” It doesn’t matter what they think, if I feel that ten acres is worth my effort and I’m willing to pay for it, then why not rent it out? Similarly if someone in the not too distant area is willing to truck in then who’s the landowner to say they think it’s a silly use of the persons time.

    I just think it’s an option farmers could start to consider. Put out feelers for a test run and if nobody is willing or able to make it work then they’re no worse off than before. It won’t be a perfect situation because what in farming ever is, it won’t be an overnight success and it probably will cost initial investments in things like fencing and maybe even water systems. But if it works... It’s something that can be as flexible as the farmers involved want it to be.
    Last edited by Blaithin; Jun 4, 2020 at 13:37.
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    GDR
    Jun 4, 2020 | 13:53 57
    Quote Originally Posted by Blaithin View Post
    There’s not many with livestock in this area either. However many of the ones that do have them actually end up trucking them over an hour away towards Hand Hills and Special Areas for summer grazing. If they’re willing to truck for summer, why not fall or winter. Nothing would beat the convenience of up the road of course, but I don’t think distance should be a big detractor of the idea.

    There are backgrounding operations that truck cattle from south central Alberta up to Winfield area and east central Alberta and as far out as east Saskatchewan. A couple week pit stop at a field or two of fall stockpile can save them yardage and give great impact on the arable farmers land.

    As a renter I’ve had people come up with the stupidest reasons for not renting out land. “Well it’s only 10 acres so you shouldn’t want to rent it” It doesn’t matter what they think, if I feel that ten acres is worth my effort and I’m willing to pay for it, then why not rent it out? Similarly if someone in the not too distant area is willing to truck in then who’s the landowner to say they think it’s a silly use of the persons time.

    I just think it’s an option farmers could start to consider. Put out feelers for a test run and if nobody is willing or able to make it work then they’re no worse off than before. It won’t be a perfect situation because what in farming ever is, it won’t be an overnight success and it probably will cost initial investments in things like fencing and maybe even water systems. But if it works... It’s something that can be as flexible as the farmers involved want it to be.
    Have heard lots of old times say it's easier to move the cows to the feed than the feed to the cows.

    Biggest issue is all the fences removed and of course water and shelter can be winter challenges. Reply With Quote
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  • Blaithin's Avatar Jun 4, 2020 | 14:16 58 Fencing and water are the biggest hurdles around here, for sure. Reply With Quote
    Jun 4, 2020 | 14:18 59 Yeah, lack of fences, lack of understanding how it would benefit the grain fields. Most of my neighbors are second generation with no cows anymore, so it is hard for me to imagine them being excited to even have cows on their land again, whether it is a benefit or not.

    It’s too bad, really. I always wished to do something like this, but what grain farmer wants his land fenced again? He just took it out, he seeds into the ditch whenever he can! Lol I think a bigger problem is the independent spirit, an a complete lack of understanding. I know most guys I wouldn’t even ask, as it would be impossible to explain how it would benefit them.

    Water and natural shelter are abundant In this area for the most part. Reply With Quote
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  • Blaithin's Avatar Jun 4, 2020 | 14:27 60 A lot of it is people just don’t know enough about things like cover crops. They know the surface, nothing deeper.

    I did a twitter poll earlier this year ( 😂 )asking farmers what they thought was the biggest hurdle in using cover crops. Almost 100% of those that replied cited they didn’t want the stress of having to hurry up and seed right after harvest, especially in years like last year where harvest didn’t end. They’d never heard of or considered cover crops seeded at, or soon after, spring seeding. (Meanwhile there was me, not even thinking of fall seeding, mainly because it would be such a pain!)

    Just talking about methods and different ideas helps spread information and seed nuggets of ideas in people’s heads. If nobody knows about cover crop options that can be seeded in spring with the main crop then how can we be frustrated that they won’t use them. Can’t use what you don’t know about. It’s why I like following along random ag conversations, you’ll never know what you’ll hear about that you’d never even thought of or known existed before. Reply With Quote