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Bob Larson Soil Health Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: November 19, 2018

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I’m Bob Larson. Research in soil improvement at Washington State University’s Extension office is looking at how the three most used practices impact the ground farmers plant their crops in.

David Granatstein says a couple of recent studies are paying off …

GRANATSTEIN … “Yes. I would say for sure! For example, we’ve seen a lot more acres using something like strip-till, which is a form of this high-residue farming. Certain crops are very amenable to that and not only does it protect the soil and improve the soil, but it can reduce costs because you have way fewer trips over the field, you can have less disease problems potentially, you can conserve water. So, there are a number of ripple effects that people do see. They may start it for one reason and they start to see some other benefits that even make it more compelling to use.”

And after all that, Granatstein says it leaves them asking more questions …

GRANATSTEIN … “I think the biggest question in my mind is can these practices pay for themselves in an obvious way that a grower can go to their banker, which is in many cases a determining factor, and say hey this makes sense. We get a fairly short-term return on investment and we’re building the natural resource for the long-term. So, really, getting the information that can demonstrate whether or not that’s happening, to me, is very very important.”

Granatstein says a USDA cover crop survey is currently underway and he encourages all farmers to take part and them know what’s happening in the Pacific Northwest.

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