UnderseededClover

Six limiting factors in your soil that will make or break your operation

Soil, your primary infrastructure

Farms and grazing operations — organic or otherwise — are only as good as their worst resource, according to Oregon-based grazier Abe Collins.

“Soil is our primary infrastructure on the farm,” said Collins, who spoke at the recent Organic Alberta conference.

“Biologically, chemically, and physically, you need to be looking at the limiting factors in your soil.”

In the Canadian Prairies, water tends to be a key limiting factor when it comes to growing crops and forages — but there are others as well, said Collins.

This checklist covers off six other important factors that could mean the difference between success and failure on your farm. While Collins was speaking to an audience of organic producers, there’s plenty of good ideas for conventional growers to borrow too.

1. Year-long green

The first rule, says Collins, is “100 per cent covered soils 100 per cent of the time — never bare soil.

“Bare soil is a burn victim,” he said. 
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CornFieldSky800

Why every bushel of corn matters for U.S. balance sheet

Source: Reuters – Karen Braun (Karen Braun is a Reuters market analyst. Views expressed are her own.)


The United States will certainly harvest a huge corn crop in 2016, so it hardly matters if yield falls by a couple of bushels, right? Actually, it does.

Without dissecting the balance sheet and crunching the numbers, it might be hard to understand why slight variations in yield make a big difference in domestic supply.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected that domestic farmers will harvest 15.15 billion bushels of corn over the next couple of months, which would easily set a new record for the world’s leading corn supplier.

USDA also penciled in 2.409 billion bushels of corn carryover at the end of the 2016/17 marketing year, which began on Sept. 1. This would be the largest such volume since the late 1980s. Read more