A weekly blog for all things conservation
By: Kevin Brown, Ag. Resource Specialist
It is that time of year again. For the very important, local people that bring food to your table, it is the time of year to be thinking about how I am going to manage, and even improve, my field health through the winter months. (This goes for gardens too). Typically, we have given our fields a rest for the winter. Sounds like a good idea, right? Everything needs a rest. Well, in this case, a rest is basically the starvation of the very soil life that we need to help us grow food. Look up any kind of article or research on soil health. Two of the things that good soil health requires are to always keep it covered and have a living root in the ground. Soil biology feeds off living roots. Take away the root, take away the food. Take away the food, everything dies. You are left with the D word (dirt- which is not even a word in most soil professions). Why do we want a field to work for us 4-5 months out of the year and against us 7-8 months of the year? It just doesn’t make any sense. Read some articles from other parts of the country. They will tell you that they couldn’t make a living on one crop per year. They need multiple crops per year. It would help us an awful lot here too. How do we do this? Cover crops.
Various staff at the Bradford County Conservation District