Since 2012, we have been working on a thirty-acre field in central Missouri that we have designated as the Soil Health Study. This field was taken out of grass pasture for a soybean, corn, and wheat rotation. The only tillage used has been with the Aerway/Salford double rolling basket. My brother, Bruce, is also using cover-crops, which he can utilize as pasture for his cattle (this has been fantastic for him). There has been a minimum of dry fertilizer applied to this field, using the recommendation from a Haney soil test. We have been using our SOIL SERVICE, INC. products – Crop Choice starter fertilizer for corn, Foliar Opp foliar feeds the soybean, MAX 72 SRN was used on the wheat crop. Our NUTRIENT RECYCLING PROGRAM has been spring applied on the entire field since 2015.
So, that is just a very short summary of the management of this field. What are we seeing and how are we measuring the result?
I thought in the beginning the Haney soil health calculation would be a good thing to track, or even the Soil Respiration CO2-C number could be tracked. Yes, they both can, but what really jumped out at me was the ORGANIC MATTER PERCENTAGE!
In 2012, the first O.M. was 1.9 %. Just got the latest soil test results back this week, and the O.M. has reached 3.4%. That is an increase of 1.5% in six years! Now, I have been to a lot of meetings, listened to soil scientists and soil health experts, and all I have heard from them is “it takes twenty years to raise soil organic matter 1%”. We must be doing something right in this field!
Cover-crops are really, really hot right now, and it looks like the best way to get full advantage of what they have to offer, is to use SOIL SERVICE, INC.’S Nutrient Recycling Program. Why? Because this product has been formulated to help break down crop residue (and crop roots), provide energy and food to the soil bacteria, and introduce more of the bacteria and mycorrhizae into the soil. It also helps unlock more soil nutrients which are tied up in the soil. It will also stabilize nitrogen.
The visual differences which we have seen are: better soil tilth, better water infiltration, much better stress tolerance, healthier crops, larger and deeper root systems, and of course – BETTER YEILDS!
If you want more information about the Soil Health Study, or the Nutrient Recycling Program, email us firstname.lastname@example.org