MemberJanuary 4, 2021 at 12:40 pm00179
My real interest in soil health started when I started focusing on the long-term productivity of our farm. How can we increase profitability through higher yields, lower input costs, and less susceptibility to weather. The first step seemed to be reducing soil disturbance. Getting the soil in better shape then enables the other pieces to fall into place- fewer herbicides, less fertilizer, ect… My feeling has been that the tillage is more destructive than the herbicides. So perhaps that isn’t a direct answer to your question, Ethan. I do think farming without the crutch of tillage is harder and requires more management. And you have an even smaller support network of other farmers doing this in vegetables compared to row crops. Have you done much with cover crop placement and banded herbicide applications? I’m thinking along the lines of planting cover crops between the future rows of vegetables so there isn’t so much direct competition for seedlings. That might require more aggressive herbicides in that strip, but fewer or different herbicides between the rows.