Saturday, August 23, 2014

Soybeans Test 12 Brix

Today we visited a no-till farm in Quebec with soybeans testing a Brix reading of 12.  That is as about the most I've ever heard of or seen in soybeans.  The plants were super healthy with just a little bit of white mold showing in a few spots.  Other fields have more mold and disease but all of the beans I've seen in Quebec impress me.

What is this fellow doing differently?  He has been continuous no-till for 21 years on this farm.  He has added cover crops since he visited our farm in 2008.  He has really upped the anty for crop production in his operation.

His soil is a lakebed 145 feet deep with only 8 inches of rich, black topsoil.  With his methods he has increased that depth to 15 inches deep.  This is one of those unheard of stories you hear at a few places like the National NoTillage Conference.  We saw it first hand today.

Odette Menard and her followers in Quebec are after soil quality from improved soil structure.  Water does not stand on these soils like they once did where these methods are used.  The tillage ground looked very much like the tillage ground in the states, impervious layers that don't allow oxygen to move down to the root zone, causing anaerobic conditions.

The difference between the two is amazing.  These farmers are not so concerned with the soil test as they are the soil quality from improved soil structure.  We understand the chemistry of the soil better than we do the physics of the soil.

This reminded me of what no till and cover crops are all about so we can weather these low price years and make more in the higher priced crop years.

This picture is soybeans from tillage, the soybeans I saw today have twice as many pods and I still call this picture excellent soybeans.

Ed Winkle

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