Friday, December 20, 2013

What My Soil Is Telling Me

Anyone who has read my blog or wants to search my archives, you know I have been listening to my soil all my life.  There is so much life under our feet!

My soil could be rented, the best part is when I OWN it and I can do whatever I want to it.  With ownership comes a huge responsibility.

Our friend Bill included this link I think it is very worthy for discussion on this blog.

What is your soil telling you?  If you click on the link, you can download a very good 2.3 MB slide show on what is my soil telling me?

When I stop, look and listen, my soil tells me tons of information.  It responds to every good thing I do to it.  If I don't plow it and keep it covered, it starts to heal.  When I apply lime and fertilizer according soil test recommendations, it produces big, healthy crops.

If you have read this blog you know I use the Midwest soil test.  That tells me very basic information, more than just guessing what I should do to feed a crop.  You also know I learned to pull tissue samples at flower to get a better idea what the crop is seeing.  It tells me what my balance levels are and what my micronutrient deficiencies are.  It all varies year to year and crop to crop rotation.

The Brix test helps me evaluate how healthy my crop is.  I am getting Brix readings now closer to 12 when they used to be 5.  That difference in sugar comes from a much healthier mass flow of nutrients in to my plant sap.

I like talking soil and I like helping others.  Nothing gives me more joy that standing in a root pit or where we are repairing or installing field drainage tile.

I hope the next guy who farms this place appreciates what he is getting because I have put my heart and soul into building this farm and it's no average piece of ground anymore.

My yields prove, I can hardly believe what we've taken off this farm in ten short(long) years!

What is your soil telling you?

Ed Winkle


  1. Dr. Dan Beran's slide show will apply for his selected audience in similar soils and climate but may not apply Nation Wide. .

    1. I hate to say it, but the next guy won't appreciate it like you Ed. They never do. Just the way it is and will always be.

    2. Now wait a minute, what do you see in those slides you don't agree with?

      That's why we have children and grandchildren, if I can only teach them to appreciate the soil and the earth like I do?


  2. That's a Perdy picture of that tile getting installed Ed! I think John's got me convinced to do mine on 60's right off the bat and the split em in a couple years....
    Brian B.

    1. You are a young man so tile and gypsum will pay you back the rest of your life. Your soil and my soil both need more oxygen and a lower water table.

      We could get a bunch of rain today so my soil is going to store it better than it did before the improvements. I will probably need this water next August!