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Protozoa, Pastures & Profits

Innovative Farming Requires an Innovative Approach to Soil Health It’s a bright June day in southeastern Minnesota, and the hilly landscape is in full summer bloom. But as Chuck Henry watches his dairy herd graze a mix of winter wheat and Sudan grass, he has numbers on his mind: 33,000 bites per day, per cow;…  Read More

Farm Beginnings Profile: An Enigmatic Edge in Corn Country

This Gateway into Farming Hinges on Small Grains, Livestock & Soil Health With its pool table topography and coffee-colored soils, southern Minnesota’s Nicollet County perennially ranks as one of the top producers of corn and soybeans in the state, and land prices reflect it — in 2019 the average annual non-irrigated cropland rental rate in…  Read More

Land Line: Relay Cropping, Ag Committees, CO2 & Crops, Superbugs, SNAP

Nov. 6 : An LSP Round-up of News Covering Land, People & Communities Relay Cropping Helps Northeast Iowa Farmer Reach a Lofty Goal (October 2020) Northeastern Iowa farmer Loran Steinlage is using “relay cropping” to keep living roots in the soil 365-days-a-year, according to 4R Plus. Steinlage was getting good yields growing continuous corn-on-corn. But…  Read More

Soil Health: Short-Term Gains, Long-Term Dividends

How One Farm’s Focus on Soil Health Helped Make Row-Cropping Viable…& Fun The economic benefits of building soil health are a balancing act between immediate payoff and delayed gratification. In an ideal situation, the source of those quick profits will set the foundation for a longer-term investment that pays dividends. For example, Dawn and Grant…  Read More

Renting It Out Right: A Hilltop View of the Land’s Potential

Mark Erickson’s Relationship with Landowners is Rooted in Healthy Soil When considering significant changes to the way one farms, there’s nothing like a couple acres of convincer, a template for the potential offered up by tapping into the land’s ability to build soil health in an economically viable manner utilizing livestock and perennial plants. Mark…  Read More

Legislation Seeks to Fully Fund Groundbreaking U of M Forever Green Initiative

Research is Developing Crops that Help Farmers Profitably Clean up Water SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Bills have been introduced in the Minnesota House and Senate that would fully fund the University of Minnesota’s Forever Green Initiative, a program employing cutting-edge research focused on developing cover cropping and perennial plant systems that keep the land covered…  Read More

‘Soil health impacts everyone,’ MN Farmer tells Congressional Ag Leaders

Austin Crop & Livestock Farmer Testifies at Special Congressional Hearing on the Need to Support Healthy Soil in the Next Farm Bill WASHINGTON, D.C.—Building healthy soil on agricultural acres doesn’t just benefit rural communities, said a southern Minnesota farmer during a special Congressional hearing on soil health that was held in Washington today. And that’s…  Read More

Carbon, Cattle & Conservation Grazing

Sometimes the rules of simple cause and effect don’t directly apply. Take, for instance, the fact that cattle are ruminants, and like all ruminants they utilize a wonderfully complex digestive system to turn forages and grain into meat and milk. A major side effect of all that fermentation on four legs is the production of…  Read More

Goals, Realities & Soil Health

It’s been said that soil without biology is just geology—an accumulation of lifeless minerals unable to spawn healthy plant growth. And as intense monocropping production practices increasingly remove more life from the ground than they return, it sends that soil closer to fossilization via what conservationist Barry Fisher calls, “the spiral of degradation”: eroded, compacted…  Read More

A Hub of Soil Health Activity

How Indiana is using cover cropping and early adopters as ‘gateways’ into a deeper understanding of sustainable soil management. It’s an overcast August morning in northeastern Indiana, and in a massive machine shed well stocked with the tools of a modern row crop operation, some 60 farmers are being reminded that growing corn and soybeans…  Read More