Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomeNotes From KathyFertility Matters

Fertility Matters

Photo by Eirian Evans via wikimedia commons.

Since soil fertility is a hot topic, this week we’ve got three articles to help you out. First, we take a look at the history of synthetic fertilizer and bust a myth going around about its impact on soil microbes. Then we look at compost tea and whether or not farmers have success with it in the field. Finally, we look at the economics of fertilizing pastures, giving you some math tips to help you figure out what you should do.

But that’s not where our fertilizing ends.

The primary focus of On Pasture has always been to provide readers with steps they can use to adopt new practices with an emphasis on sustainability and profitability.

But being a good grazier is about more than trying to following a recipe. It’s a way of being, and of thinking about problems, like this week’s example from Fran Fritz. What we learn from Fran isn’t the latest grazing technique. It’s that, like Fran, we each have different abilities, so we have to stop and think awhile before going forward.

To be a successful thinker, we need to fertilize our brain with the right nutrients to be the most productive. Reading and listening widely, not just about grazing or agriculture, but on a variety of topics, is a good source of nutrients. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken an idea from something completely unrelated to grazing and used it for an innovative solution. Observation and record keeping are two more great nutrients. The more information you have about your operation, the more material you have for thinking through a problem.

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there!

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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
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.


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