We sure are. What an uplifting day. On January 23, 2015, over 400 farmers turned out at RIM park in Waterloo, Ontario, to hear several inspiring farmers, including Ray Archuletta and Jeff Rasawehr from the United States.
For those farmers who have struggled to wrap their minds around the intricacies of soil biology and what it can do for your crop yields and pocketbooks, Ray and Jeff’s research and stories were both enlightening and inspiring. They described their conversion to biological agriculture, and the rewards they are now experiencing. At the end of the day, it comes down to increasing organic matter through low disturbance management systems and covering your soil at all times…such practices include decreasing tillage, growing cover crops, and becoming a lot more crafty in varying your crop rotations.
Several of the presenters throughout the day, including those by Ray, Jeff and OMAFRA, described the severity of the problems that accompany soil degradation. The destruction of soil aggregates leads to nutrient loss, water loss, erosion of top-soil, weakened diseased crops, and a farmers’ dependency on NPK and chemicals to Band-Aid these inevitable problems of degraded soil.
The solution is clear. If we address the soil and its biology first, before NPK and chemicals, nature will do more for your crop and yields than you can even imagine right now. Ray and Jeff were real and down to earth. They acknowledged that it does take a leap of faith and a paradigm shift to understand the biological science of soil that has been lacking from most conventional agriculture management for quite some time. They suggested that farmers get a mentor and start transitioning slowly. One parting message I took away was to do something different for your soil this year that you haven’t done before. Also, be kind on yourself when you fail. As Ray said, “If you’re not failing, you’re not learning.”
If you missed this day, and/or if you were there and saw our booth, but did not have a chance to talk with us, please give us a call and one of our consultants will be very happy to discuss how we can help support you in “doing something different” to improve your soil’s organic matter and, in time, improving your bottom line.
And, as Ray shared with us, remember… “Science will not fix this problem. It has to become personal for you to make a change as a farmer.”
Is it personal yet?