Soil Health Principles Part 2 – Minimize Disturbance

Since 2013, Buz Kloot, film maker and Research Associate Professor at the Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, has been working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to explore and share the important role soil plays in our lives. The result is three seasons of short videos covering science and practical management examples. Based on all he learned, Buz finished the 2016 season with five videos focusing on the principles of soil health. By understanding these principles, we can choose practices that work best for our individual operations. Over the next few weeks we are sharing these principles, along with examples of how you can apply them in your own operation. In this video, Buz describes the impact of tillage on our soils. Last week, we learned that soil microbes are critical to soil function and plant health and that they live in the empty spaces or "pores" in the soil. Tillage destroys their "homes" and kills microbes, it exacerbates compaction, and it burns up organic matter. That offsets any improvements we hoped to gain by tilling to remove weeds, reduce compaction and prepare the soil for planting. So what can we do instead? Buz uses his own garden, and examples from an organic farm and a conventional row-crop farm as examples of how to grow plants with little to no tillage. If you're a grazier who doesn't raise crops, tillage may not be a problem, but there are other things you can do to

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