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Take a Deeper Look at Soil Health

By   /  June 29, 2020  /  1 Comment

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Dr. Ray Weil has spent his whole life looking at and learning about soils and how they work to keep us all fed. In fact, he literally wrote the book on soils.

He has a message for farmers and ranchers concerned about how their soils affect forage growth and profitability: Think deeper. Think about more than the top 12 inches. There’s a lot going on down there, and in fact that could be where a lot of the moisture your forage needs is. In this first 3:48 minute video he takes you on a tour of a soil pit to show you what’s going on further down than we normally look.

Sometimes that moisture is trapped below a “plow pan” or a layer of compacted soil. But you don’t need a bigger tractor with a bigger plow to break that up. In this second video Ray says, “Let nature do it for you” with the simple addition of cover crops. Check it out!

If you want to go into “depth” on the nature and properties of soils, Ray’s book is the one for you. It is the hallmark text on the topic and provides an integrated understanding of the diversity of soils, the soil system and it’s role in the ecology of the planet. (And, On Pasture gets a small percentage of any purchase made from this link.)

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About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.

1 Comment

  1. Sue Kennedy says:

    We have a thick layer of caliche at our place and are looking for a way to get through it, break it up, etc. I saw in another post that you don’t see a benefit in using a keyline plow for most operations, and honestly if I can get away without spending that money I’m happy. What would you suggest for dealing with caliche?

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