Showing posts from February, 2018

Interview for the National No-Till Educator of the Year Award

Photos from Randall Reeder at Nathan Brause farm.  We are being interviewed by Matt Reese.  Nathan Brause is the Ohio No-till Council Innovative Farmer of the Year. I am being interviewed for the National No-till Educator of the Year Award.

Tillage is Like a Drug Addiction

  Tillage is Like a Drug Addiction By James J. Hoorman “Strangely enough, they have a mind to till the soil and the love of possessions is a disease within them.” Sitting Bull Civilization and the world population started increasing when humans began growing their own food to feed themselves and their livestock rather than pursuing and hunting wild game. The first human cultivation of crops probably was no-till, requiring very little cultivation. The first crops for human consumption may have been with a stick to create a hole and a seed bed for a kernel of grain. With time, our early human ancestors used livestock to speed up the planting of crops. Tilling the soil had many early advantages. Tillage killed the weeds (short term) and reduced the competition for water and nutrients. Tillage increased seed to soil contact and helped with seed germination. Tillage also aerated the soil and increased the mineralization and release of soil nutrients and resulted in increased crop yields. Mo

Are USA Soil Erosion Rates Sustainable?

  Are USA Soil Erosion Rates Sustainable? By James J. Hoorman “The nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt Soil is a gift of life and the basis for modern civilization. The soil provides humans with food, fiber for clothes, shelter (wood, bricks, metals), foundation for our buildings, medicines, and a place to live and play. The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) started as the Soil Erosion Service in 1933 as a part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the direction of Hammond Bennett. During the Dust Bowl days and the 1930’3 Depression Era, soil and wind erosion was a major problem with erosion rates of 30-50 tons of topsoil lost per acre per year. Blowing wind and water erosion were rampant throughout the country, displacing millions of tons of soil annually. To reduce soil erosion, various conservation practices were utilized and implemented throughout the 20th century. In the 1980’s, conservation tillage practices

Discovering How Cover Crops Impact Cropland Habitat for Pests: Voles, Slugs, and Other Pests

This webinar will focus on how cover crops can create habitat for pests like voles and slugs. It is Part 1 of a 2 part series. Pest problems like voles, slugs and army worms tend to be cyclical in nature and can have dramatic impacts when there's an outbreak. Understanding the role that cover crops and no-till can play in creating the conditions for these pest to thrive can help producers make management decisions. This webinar is first of a two-part series dealing with managing cover crops and tillage to minimize pest problems. The specific mention of product names is provided for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement of these products or the companies that make them by USDA. This webinar will focus on how a producer can manage their cover crops and no-till systems to reduce pest problems, e.g. voles and slugs. This webinar is the second in a series to help producers and conservationists determine what can be done to manage the habitat of potential pest. Timin