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Archive | Build Soil

Learn sustainable practices for building and maintaining healthy soil. High quality soil requires diverse soil life and microbes, soil organic matter, humus and the right balance of minerals and nutrients.

Walter Jehne

Supporting the Soil Carbon Sponge

In nature, most plants won’t survive alone; they need these microbial associations. Mycorrhizal fungi are very important, but there are also nitrogen-fixing organisms in the rhizosphere, including blue-green algae, Azotobacter and Azospirillum. There’s a whole beautiful zoo of them. Plants produce plenty of sugars, and in effect they’re exchanging those sugars as root exudates with […]

shutterstock_manure

A Hack for Making Winter Manure

Covering the manure is critical because you don’t want it to be too wet.

Glen_web

Tractor Time Episode 29: Glen Rabenberg, Soil Expert

Rather than conforming to the traditional methods of soil science, Glen brings his knowledge of animal science and applies it to the soil.

bug on alfalfa

Common Forage Pests and Problems

If your soil is not yet in good condition, or if the weather isn’t cooperating, and your plants are under stress and are attacked by a disease or pest, all the Utopian theories in the world will not help. You have to save that crop!

identify nutrient deficiencies

Nutrient Deficiencies in Alfalfa

Severe sickness is usually easy to spot because of visible discoloration or dying of above-ground parts. Less severe deficiencies and toxicities are harder to diagnose. Often the plants look healthy, but growth may be slowed, yield may be reduced, and feed quality will probably be decreased.

Alfalfa

How to Measure Alfalfa Quality

One of the keys to keeping the right balance of nutrients is to have well aerated soil with plenty of humus, for humus and its associated microorganisms tend to provide balanced nutrition to plants.