Bury Your Briefs: Discover the Keys to Soil Health “Tighty Whitey” Style

Thanks to Kara Pugsley and the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition for sharing this article with us! South Dakota farmers are planting something new to test soil quality – their tighty whities. They start with a few pairs of clean 100 percent cotton briefs, bury them a couple inches in the soil, and dig them up about six weeks later. Poor quality soil will yield almost fully-intact briefs, but biologically active, high quality soil will leave the briefs in tattered remnants, with only the elastic band remaining. While the sight of someone out in a field burying underwear may raise some eyebrows, it’s an effective way to hit home one key point: healthy soil is active soil. Dennis Hoyle of Roscoe, SD, buried some briefs when he hosted the first South Dakota Soil Health School held by the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition. When Hoyle buried a brief in a reduced-tillage soybean field, it had much less material remaining than the brief buried in the field of conventional tilled corn. “We need to keep the roots and residue on the soil so that we have more activity to eat up the cotton (carbon) in the underwear,” explained Hoyle.  “Tilled land does not have enough of the biology to “eat” the tighty whities,” he said. “When you are tilling the land, it’s like you are creating a tornado in the soil and removing much of what’s hungry for carbon.” Do This At Home The “bury your briefs” test is simple and easy to perform. Whether done in a fiel

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One thought on “Bury Your Briefs: Discover the Keys to Soil Health “Tighty Whitey” Style

  1. If the neighbours see you burying your briefs, you could just tell them you are being prophetic:

    Jeremiah 13 The Message (MSG)

    “13: 1-2 God told me, “Go and buy yourself some linen shorts. Put them on and keep them on. Don’t even take them off to wash them.” So I bought the shorts as God directed and put them on.
    3-5 Then God told me, “Take the shorts that you bought and go straight to Perath and hide them there in a crack in the rock.” So I did what God told me and hid them at Perath.
    6-7 Next, after quite a long time, God told me, “Go back to Perath and get the linen shorts I told you to hide there.” So I went back to Perath and dug them out of the place where I had hidden them. The shorts by then had rotted and were worthless.
    8-11 God explained, “This is the way I am going to ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem—a wicked bunch of people who won’t obey me, who do only what they want to do, who chase after all kinds of no-gods and worship them. They’re going to turn out as rotten as these old shorts. Just as shorts clothe and protect, so I kept the whole family of Israel under my care”—God’s Decree—“so that everyone could see they were my people, a people I could show off to the world and be proud of. But they refused to do a thing I said.”

    Apparently linen work as well as cotton.

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