> I disagree with some of your ideas concerning ag disasters. The plow is
> a useful tool. It is only when we plow the wrong slopes or mismanage
> tilled acreage that it becomes a problem. But the land grants and
> agribiz essentially told farmers in a de facto sense that we can help
> you supply all the nutrients and kill the weeds so soil is really only
> useful for holding the plant upright.What incentive is there to retain
> soil if you don't put real effort into building soil and soil life? It'
> a management problem not a tool problem.
Rich,Plowing, or any tillage for that matter, releases carbon (organic matter) as
CO2 into the atmosphere. It doesn't matter if your organic or conventional- its
going to happen when you till. WE all know the importance of organic matter and how
it benefits the soil we farm. In the last 10 years, my OM levels have increased from
2.5%- to 4.0% on land that hasn't been tilled. Soil microbial biomass has tripled
and aggregate stability has quadupled! AS far as managing the plow -you must be
refering to fairly level terrain. We farm slopes of 4-12% with class 2 and 3 soils.
The erosion issue can't be ignored. This whole area where I live would have to be in
grass, making it much less diverse in productivity. With a system of cover crops,
crop rotation, and long term no-tillage, I can farm these hills with no erosion,
have diverse crops, and build a healthy soil while doing it.
"New Generation Cropping Systems": the cutting edge of sustainable agriculture
Cedar Meadow Farm
679 Hilldale Rd
Holtwood PA 17532 USA
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