Can modified tillage help our climate?

CM-CN-MR-Modified-tillage1by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Does the way you till your land impact our climate?

According to Dr. Robert L. Thompson, visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, the answer is, “Yes!” [Read more…]

Automatic Dairy Farming: Part 1

CE-MR-1-Automatic-dairy-pt1229by Tamara Scully

While dairymen traditionally have been tied to the farm to feed and milk the animals at regular intervals, the newest technology allows dairy farmers some escape from the clock. A recent workshop on dairy automation demonstrated that dairy farming has gone hi-tech. [Read more…]

Robbing the soil bank

by Paris Reidhead

Recently, I ran into a farmer named Pat at a farm supply dealership I work with. Pat was going over soil test results with the co-owner. He wanted a fertilizer and weed control recommendation for a 3-acre field of pumpkins. Upon examining the soil test results, Buddy wanted to avoid custom blending (which they don’t do themselves), and proposed a standard formulation. Thus he recommended 300 pounds per acre of 19-19-19. I asked Pat if I could look at the soil test results. He said yes. I saw the 1.9 percent organic matter and asked him what had caused this problem.

Pat said the previous cropman had rented the field, planting only corn the last five years, with no manure or cover crop — just commercial fertilizer and herbicide. [Read more…]

Fresh air swine

CM-MR-1-Fresh-Air-Swi1neby Tamara Scully

Hog operations aren’t normally associated with fresh, outdoor air. The industrial swine industry has had its share of critics, due to air quality and water pollution issues, as well as welfare issues concerning the raising of livestock in enclosed, close quarters, the use of farrowing pens and more. [Read more…]

Limiting pathogens in irrigated manure

CF4-MR-38-3-Limiting-patho1gens6180by Sally Colby

When farms have an irrigation system in place for crops, they can often use the same system for distributing liquid manure. Manure application via an irrigation system result in less time on the road, rapid uptake of nutrients by crops, and less risk of runoff and groundwater contamination. Manure distribution through irrigation also helps reduce volume in storage facilities when levels are close to the top. [Read more…]