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No Till Food Plots - So Easy

at1010

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Here I cover a plot where I am adding ash for the micro and macronutrients, as well as pellet lime. This is a field that I will continue to put seed on to establish a constant root and build soil quality over time. Great example making a site-specific plan for your field, plot, garden to work on soil quality.

 

at1010

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Here I take two soil plugs. One is from my garden where tillage has been used for years. The other is from my orchard that has cover crops grown. These areas are 20-25 yards apart from each other. I pour the same amount of water on both of them and let a timer go for a minute, look at the difference!

 
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"J"

Bass fishing aficionado....
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Davie County, NC
Here I take two soil plugs. One is from my garden where tillage has been used for years. The other is from my orchard that has cover crops grown. These areas are 20-25 yards apart from each other. I pour the same amount of water on both of them and let a timer go for a minute, look at the difference!

Very interesting, I would have thought more water would have gone through the cover crop soil than what actually did...
 
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at1010

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Very interesting, I would have thought more water would have gone through the cover crop soil than what actually did...

I know. I notice the color of water as well. The cover crop retains moisture in the soil and doesn’t allow run off as it infiltrates the soil vs. just blowing through it!

this shows what happens in a hard rain event and how a cover crop helps garner more moisture and hold soil nutrients through the aggregates.

Amazing stuff!!
 
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at1010

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Another amazing webinar from Dr. Christine Jones. I highly suggest listening to this webinar if you are interested in creating better soils, and reducing your need for syntenic inputs. For those who enjoy the cliff notes – please see mine below! Build Better Soils!
  • Phosphorus - highly immobile
  • Abundant in most soils
  • 85-90% of nutrients are microbially mediated
  • Today’s soils aren’t deficient in minerals, they are deficient in microbes that make nutrients available.
  • Plant microbes don’t work well under lab conditions – hence why past research has been misleading. The soil tested had low to no microbial life.
  • Nitrogen has to be biologically fixed for carbon sequestration to occur.
  • Phosphorus soluble bacteria stimulate biological nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
  • If we add water-soluble phosphorus- we add phosphorus - which stops the biological fixing of phosphorus, which in turn stops nitrogen-fixing biology which is needed to create the humic molecule (organic matter).
  • Australian farmers captured 25tons of carbon per hectare - 2/3rds was from root exudates – in 24 months.
  • Only 10-15% of P is taken by plants in the year of application
  • 85-90% is immobilized in soil
  • In soils ph, less than 7 - forms insoluble metals
  • P doesn’t move in soil. 1-2inchs top. Once roots get deep, synthetic applications of P are not available.
  • Available P in soil tests shows 1.4-3% of actual P in the soil. Other 98% is in soil- need microbial activity through symbiotic relationships to develop this availability.
  • Fungi solubilize phosphorus for plants – fungi need root exudates, the importance of constant root growing.
  • As the growing season nears (spring and fall) microbial activity is highest. Available P Will increase during these periods. So taking soil tests early could show inaccurate results.
  • Plant tissue tests will be far more accurate in showing you what is taken up by the plants.
  • Soil is a mix of aerobic and anaerobic biological functions. Nitrogen fixation occurs in an anaerobic environment - cannot fix in aerobic(oxygen) exposed environment (tillage would damage the fungi as well as the nitrogen-fixing ability of the soil, it is exposing it to air).
  • Potassium - might be ok to add, in small doses.
  • The best way to add is foliar - if needed. Much less needed. If a Brix test shows this being lower.
  • 4-6 plant families in cover crop mix.
  • Nitrogen bacteria in soil - takes 3 years in the soil to be adequate. This is why if the goal is to come off a nitrogen fertilization program, it is best to reduce slowly over years, and not stop cold turkey. Think of an antibiotic increase and decrease regiment a human would be on, to not shock the body.
  • Biostimulant - compost extract - on seed -these act as auto-inducers, stimulate soil microbiome vs. just acting as a fertilizer but acting as one in same. These are not fertilizing the roots but actually jump-starting the microbiome of the soil where the seed is planted, so that when the seed breaks open and starts producing exudates, the microbes are awake and ready!
  • Seeds' core microbiome is important - similar to genetics but not genetic, it is microbial but can determine the likelihood of how the plant grows, wants to grow, interacts with microbes, etc. This is developing science.
 

at1010

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Very interesting webinar, mostly on the soil microbiology.

Although much of it was similar to other conversations that I have listened to previously, I always take something away from the experts. I found some major similarities and dissimilarities in both pitches. I also found John's take on the variability in the efficacy of plant photosynthesizing, at a constant, to be highly fascinating. Assuming what he is saying about increasing the photosynthesis efficacy of plants, throughout the year, and keeping a constant root growing - we would be talking about increasing root exudates consistency, which would increase the overall health of the system. Very interesting proposal.

Thank you for following along!

AT

Build Better Soils!

 
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at1010

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Here I cover some of the concerns I have with the constant infighting within the regen ag community. There seems to be an instinct, for some, to put others down - if and when they don't fully agree with the methods being implemented.

We must recognize the complexities of some situations and also not totally negate the simplicities of what makes the overall system work, laid out so well by folks like Gabe Brown.

Let's work together to build better soil and educate each other vs. rushing to the top of the mountain to look down at those below.
Build Better Soil!

DIRT is what we will be buried in, SOIL is what life is built upon!
 

at1010

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https://fb.watch/4SGvnbMsZU/

Another great webinar from Dr. Christine Jones - below are my notes. I hope some find this useful! Enjoy!
•Nitrogen - highly mobile in soil10-40% is taken up by plants
•60-90% goes elsewhere
•Nitrogen rapidly transformed does not accumulate, like phosphorus – volatilizes
•78% of the atmosphere is N2
•70million lbs per acre in N2 available
•N2 is inert
•Legumes don’t fix nitrogen - they symbiotically work with bacteria to fix nitrogen.
•Nitrogen fixation occurred insides rhizosheaths and water-stable aggregates – need to have functioning soil to make nitrogen available.
•Observation analysis will be far more important to see soil building than sending soil to a lab – this seems to be very consistent with various other soil scientists as well.
•Synthetic fertilizers - inhibit rhizosheaths and water-stable aggregates.
•A little bit can be stimulatory. Over 50lb per acre is too much (urea for example).
•Clean white roots - no rhizosheaths happening no natural nitrogen fixation occur.
•Every green living plant has some possibility to access free-living nitrogen through microbial intermediaries, through the fungal network.
•Fungi are the conduits transport of organic nitrogen to plant roots, as amino acids. Once inside the plant, the plant can assemble the amino acids into proteins. This is important, some syntetics might get taken up by the plant but are not converted to proteins, therefore are consumed as nitrates.
•Huge metabolic cost to plant to convert synthetic nitrogen to usable protein. So it at times doesn’t convert, again leaving the amount a N in the plant vs. a protein, which is not helping the nutrient density of the plant for consumption.
•80-90% of plant nutrient acquisition is microbially mediated.
•Dissimilar microbiomes - growing together- function symbiotically vs. competitively.
•High analysis fertilizers are just substituting for plant diversity.
•800lbs of urea per acre - cannot produce the same biomass as 4+ groups of complimentary plants working together.
•Wean off N if needed - 20%,30%,50% - use an organic form of N fertilizer vs. urea, as an example.
•Can use 5lb per acre of synthetic N - without detrimental impacts.Not sure why this occurs but it does act as a jump start or stimulant for the microbiomes.
•Use plant leaf tests and apply as foliar - only if they needed.
•Funny protein - is if a plant has N in the plant but the protein was never converted, yet the lab tests can be inconsistent. Labs test for N in the plant and then multiply it by a fixed number variable. This test is inconsistent as it assumes all N is converted to a protein. However, this is not the case as many synthetics are never converted and stay as N.
•4 functional groups without a legume will fix as much N - as with a legume. Too many legumes can be detrimental, like synthetics.
•More than half the N in manure is inorganic
•Avoid inorganic N all together
•If you put nitrogen fertilizer on a legume - the bacteria that fix nitrogen will stop.
•Synthetics make plants look good but they are weak below. Not nutrient-dense.
•4 plant functional groups - incredibly healthy microbiome.
 
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at1010

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This is one of my favorite podcasts right now. They are funny, intelligent, and extremely experienced in farming practices in Iowa and Minnesota. Although not all of this relates to deer food plots, there is still a lot we can learn from benefiting both soil and land from these folks. Really good stuff!!