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Ear to the Ground 260: Soil Health’s Long View

Martin Larsen’s integration of small grains into his cropping operation is centered on building economic and ecological resiliency beyond the next growing season. For more information on soil health and to join LSP’s Soil Builders’ Network, click here. Ear Dirt Check out LSP’s ongoing Ear Dirt podcast series for conversations on cover cropping, no-till, managed rotational grazing,…  Read More

Ear to the Ground No. 254: Mastering an Evolutionary Monster

Farmer Tom Frantzen talks about hybrid rye, ecological resiliency, and why being uncomfortable isn’t always a bad thing. • To read the Civil Eats article on hybrid rye — “Hybrid Rye is Helping Farmers Fight ‘Superweeds’ Without Herbicide” — click here. • To read the Land Stewardship Letter article on hybrid rye — “A Grain…  Read More

Ear to the Ground No. 253: The Power of Local Meat Processing

Livestock producer Eric Klein of Hidden Stream Farm describes why and how his family launched its own meat processing business. It’s been a financial and logistical challenge, but a few years down the road it’s already producing benefits for their farm as well as the local community. If you’re thinking of getting into small-scale meat…  Read More

Ear to the Ground No. 252: Stewardship as Measure

Beginning dairy farmer Carrie Redden talks about how she sees successful land stewardship and successful farming as deeply intertwined, and why more non-farmers need to make that connection as well. Carrie Redden was interviewed as part of the We Are Water initiative, which documented the stories of several farmers in the upper reaches of the…  Read More

Ear to the Ground 280: Maximum vs. Optimal

Adhering to the tenets of Ag Econ 101, a pair of beginning farmers are avoiding commodity row crops and embracing grazing, silvopasturing, and “bale grazed veggies.” More Information: • LSP’s Soil Health & Grazing web page • Ear to the Ground Episode 246: Letting Livestock do the Work You can find LSP Ear to the…  Read More

Ear to the Ground 275: Blurring the Bobolink Boundaries

How the Specht family is using rotational grazing, citizen science, and community collaboration to tear down the fence between the agricultural and avian worlds.  More Information: • The Spechts have been featured in two books: Wildly Successful Farming and The Farm as Natural Habitat • LSP’s Soil Health & Grazing Web Page • Iowa Natural Heritage…  Read More

Ear to the Ground 269: Soil’s Stairway to Heaven

Mike Seifert is using cover cropping and no-till to make up for the soil damage caused by years of heavy metal tillage. One rainy night, his headlamp illuminated the results. More Information • Event: LSP roller crimping/no-till workshop March 2, 2022, in Austin, Minn. • LSP Cover Crops Web Page • LSP No-till Web Page •…  Read More

Ear to the Ground 267: Bringing Science Back to the Farm

A 4th grade experiment launched farmer Connor McCormick down a path of researching linkages between ecology, agricultural economics, and healthy soil. More Information • Ear to the Ground 166: A farmer works with a professor and her students at St. Olaf College college to study the impacts of cropping on soil health. • Connor McCormick Blog: Returning…  Read More

Ear to the Ground 265: Diving into Safer Waters

Nettle Valley Farm’s “informed sink or swim” model of incubating the next generation of farmers. LSP’s Ear to the Ground episode 261 describes Nettle Valley Farm’s silvopasturing system and the work it’s doing to improve pollinator habitat. More information: • LSP’s “Accessing Farmland” Web Page • LSP Farmland Clearinghouse • LSP Farm Beginnings Course •…  Read More