Wednesday, December 7, 2022
HomePasture HealthTake a Deeper Look at Soil Health

Take a Deeper Look at Soil Health

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!

Click to purchase on Amazon

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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Kathy Voth
Kathy Vothhttps://onpasture.com
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.

1 COMMENT

  1. 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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