Increasing Organic Matter, Reducing Costs (Dagel 3/4)


The main things I’ve measured so far are
just trying to track the carbon to nitrogen ratio of our cover crops so we can
capitalize on some of that mineralizeable nitrogen because most of our fields that
have cover crops will see a corn crop the next year and so we’re trying
to use the cover crops to displace some inorganic nitrogen inputs. So
taking it up? Yeah, storing it. So right now I’m just kind of tracking carbon
nitrogen ratio but also looking at the other micro and macro nutrients
within the cover crop and giving them a credit almost like looking at manure and
giving it a credit and like any management we have to take in account
the cost of our cover crop seed and what it costs to seed, but I’m looking at
it that we’ll offset those expenses with reductions in applied inorganic
fertilizer. That’s my goal for the farm is to bring our level of applied
inorganic fertilizer, reduce it by forty to fifty percent. That would be
a good goal. It’s an ambitious goal but I think it’s very attainable. There’s a little bit of perception that
this is messy farming or that something’s going to be a weed but once
you kind of see how well the cash crops do after it I think that perception goes
away.

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