The Hairs On Our Head, little knowing four other acquaintances were passing from our lives this week.
I just told my daughter Becky it's been a hard week, lost 4 men I knew. Larry Overbeck was a very special special ed teacher at Blanchester, he was good to me and good to my family. Johnny Hardin lived in a wheel chair for 61 years at Marathon not far from Wolfers. His dad was the best notill farmer in Clermont County and a best friend at church for 25 years. His dad and my dad passed away on the same day, January 3, 2011. I lost the two men I respected most the same day.
My Catholic Prayer Group asked for prayers for a popular basketball coach here in Clinton County. I don't know him personally but everyone else seems to, he is that well known around here. There is always someone in need, how do we respond?
Then we have this tragedy in Boston, months after the huge one in Connecticut, years after 9/11. People ask where was God in those tragedies? I say He was right there with all those emergency people and everyone who helped the victims. God didn't want that to happen but the devil is unchained, people choose to do bad or good. We have free will. I do believe we will be held accountable for what we do. God always takes something bad like that and does something really good with it. That's how I see it.
Still, we have to grow food. Planters have not hit fields here yet in southwest Ohio but I am sure it won't be long. Seriously I could be 100% planted but I haven't felt the need to. Spring here seems to be winter mixing in with summer, we need more continuous good weather. It's chilly outside this morning, even spring flowers are stagnant. Seeds can't grow in these conditions.
One of my friends made a great post about cover crops on Crop Talk. "What is the net of nutrient import to and nutrient export from the farm?
Is water being used efficiently (all seasons) to supply the crop with the nutrients needed and prevent leaching?
Is it about managing water or managing nutrients?
"After 30-70 yrs of no-tillage pasture and a good portion of those years with annual ryegrass and a lot of 'other stuff' growing including native plants similar in function to current 'cover crops', soil P status was 2.5-5 ppm in 2004, K was mid to high 200s when I took over the ranch. So is it just no-tillage and a bunch of mixed plant species and then 'boom' we have high soil fertility and soil function?
No...not IMO not all soils/areas....the soil physics, chemistry, and biology and the grazing system/land use practice and the water cycle all have to play together to recycle nutrients properly! Misuse water then misuse nutrients! Inherently low or high fertility soils both cycle nutrients if managed properly, but that doesn't mean that each will cycle at a rate conducive of requirement for each plant to be grown nor to replenish annual crop removal....that doesn't mean the system won't 'leak' either (eg soil restrictions to root growth)!
The best way IMO to build soybean P K status is using pre-digested grain/crop/forage/cover crop residue (eg import and spread a manure source/s) then use cover crops (plural) to recycle the surplus nutrients and use the surplus water efficiently! Manure OM can stimulate the soil biology and MAY make some unavailable nutrients more available, but manure alone may be too slow to improve deep soil physics and chemistry before soil nutrient losses occur....one may need a mixed source Ca program to compliment the nutrient/water system at sub topsoil depths."
I have some very smart friends. It hard to say goodbye as they leave us one by one.