January 2, 2020 11:08 am

Once upon a time there were two farms a mile apart. Both had the same silty clay loam and silt loam soils. Both used a corn/soybean rotation and no-till practices. However, Farm A had been no-tilled for three decades and Farm B for only two years (prior to that, it was farmed using horizontal tillage). The big difference: Farm A’s corn yields were 70 bu. to 75 bu. per acre more than Farm B.

When Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie set out to address the yield discrepancy in 2011, he found it was in part linked to poor soil health.

“Improving soil health means sustaining productivity and profitability, not just for ourselves but for future generations,” Ferrie says. “It requires a systems approach because healthy soil involves many components.” Read more.

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