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  • Lucie Zillinger

    January 22, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    Thank you for your comments Jacob, it helps to hear one is not alone!

    I can see the merit in rotating sources of manure in terms of diversifying the the nutrient profile and the micro-organisms that are introduced, especially from rumen to non-rumen animals. Korean Natural Farming talks about using manure from animals that eat grass/cereals for cereal/grass type crops. Seems some logic in that.

    However, what I read is that there is a tipping point with P and K buildup where the soil buffering is exhausted and then rates increase rapidly. I am hearing that we must stop adding additional sources of P and K if we ever hope to return to balance.

    I just found this article by ‘High soil test phosphorus and potassium levels on a long-term organic farm: trends, causes, and solutions’. Very informative.

    I agree that growing legumes in cover crops is the best solution and if others could comment on what they have done for fall seeded varieties that could follow a cash crop in cooler climates it would be appreciated.

    We planted a 5 way CC (oats for its reducing capacity, Austrian winter peas, Berseem clover, radish, annual ryegrass) right after the combine in Aug 2020. It was dry so it didn’t germinate for 21/2 weeks until the rains came. Then the oats did great, peas only got about 5 in tall, only a few radish and clover, and the rye grass eventually took off. Made a nice thick carpet. I am hoping it will all winter kill and provide mulch and roots over the winter so we don’t have to terminate in the spring. But the peas never got big enough to fix much Nitrogen.

    What about co-cropping with legumes like spring peas and barley or clover frost seeded into winter wheat or spelt? What could I expect with these?

    I am very intrigued by Jerel Kratt’s comments- could we actually get sufficient nitrogen cycling by enhancing the biology and getting better nutrient cycling. I will comment directly to Jerel’s post.