In 1993, the team at R & G Miller & Sons, Inc. opted to make the switch to organic dairy farming. “We weren’t satisfied with the way things were going on the farm,” said Ron Miller, general farm manager. “After becoming organic certified on all 1,550 acres and feeding our cattle organic feed for a year, we became fully organic certified in 1997. Since the transition, our yields have gone up, and I’ve only seen one alfalfa field on the farm that could benefit from pesticide …
Healthy, productive soils have large pools of stable soil organic matter. Soil organic matter (SOM) is key to plant drought resistance and sustainable food production. Understanding how to build and maintain soil organic matter is key to achieving high crop yields, while also maintaining healthy soil structure and reducing nutrient loss.
Soil Microbes & SOM Formation
Research done at the University of New Hampshire is shedding new light on the role that microbes play in the formation of soil organic matter.
Last year, Midwestern BioAg conducted a survey to help evaluate our customer service and products. Survey participants were chosen at random, and over 360 customers responded. We gained key insight into areas where we can improve administratively, and also gained better understanding of what matters most to our customers. From the analysis, a few key findings emerged:
- Soil heath matters. A majority of our customers reported that they do business with us to improve soil health on their farms.
Forage test components and benchmarks have changed considerably over the years. In this Q&A, we sat down with Midwestern BioAg’s Director of Nutrition Dave Meidl to gain a deeper understanding of forage test components and how test results can be used to inform management decisions on dairy farms.
Q: How can I use trace mineral data from my forage test to improve results on my farm?
Plants have the unique ability to transform inorganic minerals from the soil or fertilizer into organic, highly available …
Calcium plays a vital role in plant growth, specifically cell wall formation, cell division and pollination. It also signals plants to respond to drought and heat stress, activates many plant enzyme systems and helps plants absorb other nutrients. Calcium also promotes healthy soil structure by loosening soils and stabilizing organic matter, which increases soil water- and nutrient-holding capacity.
When evaluating calcium needs on your farm, we recommend looking at three key factors on your soil test:
- Soil pH,
- Cation exchange capacity (CEC), …