In a recent article in GRAZE Magazine, there was an article by Gabe Brown about the soil tests from his farm versus those of a local organic farm that had high diversity and organic fertilizers, another farm that was no-till and low species diversity, and one farm that was no-till, moderate diversity and high synthetic fertilizer use. Gabe’s farm was described as no-till, high crop diversity, no synthetic fertilizer and incorporating livestock.
The results were pretty interesting. Gabe’s soil showed 281 pounds of nitrogen, 1006 pounds of phosphorus, and 1749 pounds of potassium. His WEOC (Water Extractable Organic Carbon) was 1,095. Contrasting this was all the other production systems mentioned which at best (the synthetic fertilizer) was showing 37 pounds of nitrogen, 217 pounds of phosphorus, and 199 pounds of potassium. The WEOC was 262.
The particularly interesting statistic is the WEOC because that measures the food that the soil biology eats. If the WEOC is high, your soil can cycle a lot of nutrients. Gabe’s WEOC was almost 400% of the next type of farming system. That’s a huge difference. And he’s able to accomplish this with less expenses.
To read more about how Gabe was able to improve his land, read his case study.
If you’d like to learn how to incorporate livestock into your cropping practices, learn more about HMI’s Online Holistic Cropping Planning course starting January 20th. Scholarships are still available and tomorrow is the last day you can sign up.