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Everyone makes a big deal out of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), but to me, carbon is the key to a profitable and sustainable farm.
I quit spending all my money on grid sampling, fertilizer, and lime. My dollar is best spent growing something. Always growing something. Photosynthesis is the only way to get carbon out of the atmosphere and into my soils where it can be put to good use. That’s why I keep a living root in my soils 100% of the year when possible.
Carbon is on the rise in my soils. I can see it when my shovel turns over rich, dark, living earth where just a decade before there was only lifeless, tan clay. This progress has been achieved through my combined use of no-till, cover crops, planting into green cover, double cropping, carbon-conscious crop rotations and the addition of livestock.
Years of layering in carbon-building strategies have paid off, and I look forward to finding new techniques to take my soils even further in the future. Until then, here’s what I’m doing today.
LOCATION:Clay Center, Kan.
YEARS NO-TILLING: 22
ACRES: 2,800 acres
CROPS: Winter wheat, grain sorghum, sunflowers, corn, and soybeans
Organic chemistry is the…