It’s Time to Test For Soil Biology
24 Jul 2239 min 5 sec

Each year 10 Million soil samples are pulled in North America. Those samples are sent to labs for analysis and the results are returned to farmers and their crop advisors. This is a good thing — knowing your nutrient and pH levels provides guidance for fertility treatments. The only problem: Much of what we do and how we do it when it comes to soil sampling hasn’t changed since the 1950’s! Al Toops with BiomeMakers joins Kelly and Connor Garrett of XtremeAg to discuss the future of soil analysis and why soil biology testing will change production Agriculture.

Presented by Advanced Drainage Systems with support from Agricen.

00:00 I am told by industry professionals who have spent their entire career going out probing soil that for a long time meaning like for 60 years 00:09 and plus we did kind of the same thing went out there the soil probe came back with a bag of soil samples and said here's you're in here's your pee. Here's your 00:18 K and you need lime in two years. Welcome to extreme ads cutting the curved podcast where you get a guaranteed return on 00:29 investment of your time as we cut your learning curve with the information. You can apply to your farming operation immediately 00:35 extreme AG, we've already made the mistakes so you don't have to managing your Farms Water Resources is a critical component to 00:45 a successful and sustainable farming operation Advanced Drainage Systems helps Farmers, just like you increase their yields up to 30% 00:54 with their technologically advanced Water Management products visit ads to see how they can keep your business flowing. 01:04 Now, here's your host Damien Mason well greens and welcome to another fantastic episode of extreme AG's cutting the curve. We're talking today about advanced 01:13 soil analysis. All right, we talk a lot about soil biology here in the last few years of Agriculture. Nothing. I just described 01:22 in the old fashioned version of soil testing did anything about soil biology? So the point is there's this 01:28 missing hole. We need to learn more about Soul biology. What if we could actually test for it and see what's happening at a 01:34 very microscopic level. That's what we're talking about. Today why it matters to you because soil biology is very 01:40 important because if you're a farmer, Soil is your most valuable asset. Al toups with a company called biome makers 01:48 is joining us as our industry expert along with Kelly Garrett and his son Connor Garrett recent graduate from Iowa State University 01:57 in Agronomy. So we got the new graduate from the education of agronomy. We got the guy that's been out here Farmer for 25 plus years and he's gonna talk about why this 02:06 marriage him. We got the industry expert Al tubes. Anyway guys, welcome to the show. 02:12 Thanks Daniel morning. Amy. Thank you. Al. Thank you for being here. Tell me this what did soil testing look like 02:18 and we were pretty damn excited about it. After World War Two a lot of advancements happened in agriculture. We had two four D. We got, you know, more mechanization. We're getting 02:27 good at farming and we finally could test for Stuff used to be went out there fleeing fleeing the manure out of the Trump shed onto 02:33 the field. And that was your story. That was your that was your soil amendments. We got better at the 1950s. The problem is it didn't 02:39 change much from the 50s until a few years ago. Take me there. All right, Damian. I like to start off with a little story. My dad was in the TV 02:46 repair business in the 1950s. And the changing tubes change moving antennas on on the rooftops. 02:53 And back in that same time frame is when Brian Olsen came out with their Foster's testing method. And you can imagine where we are 03:02 now in technology when it comes to digital software and television and cell phones and all that thing. 03:08 And that that hope that whole industry we're but we're still in the 1950s and 1940s when we look at soil testing. 03:16 The latest and greatest was the Malik example of extraction came out in the 90s. Early 90s and then we had they know 03:25 the latest one was rickini's test that came out right around the 25 years ago. What it's all the point. Okay, what happened when we came out 03:34 with Haney's test 25 years ago the new development then was looking at carbon dioxide looking at Soul respiration given 03:40 more of a biological view of how the soil was active and alive and I was and I was big stuff now. Yeah, what are we and are we in third iteration? We 03:49 enforth iteration with what we're talking about. Now today, I would say worth. I really 03:55 would say forth. We know we really begin to start looking at macronutrients probably about 35 years ago 40 years ago. 04:02 And the effects of you know those by looking at extractions with and that's what the Malik test offered was a complete analysis where you could use one extraction 04:11 to get a really solid profile of your soil of your soil chemistry. But we never had an honest serious stable method 04:20 for looking so biology. Until you know the the idea of looking at it through a PCR looking at DNA and how 04:28 what are the functions take away PCR? That's the that's the mechanism that came out for, you know, we with covid and everything you're seeing. We're looking 04:37 at DNA extractions. So that's what we do. We look at the soil through a DNA extractable. 04:45 Process so we look at both fungi and bacteria. All right. Why is this matter to you to Kelly and we'll start with him and then come back to you Kelly. Why is 04:54 this married to you? You know, I continually want to get better. The current soil testing method that were used that 05:01 like you say came out in the 50s. It's not it's not repeatable. You can you can take one soil test. You can move over a foot take another soil testing 05:10 you and you can't you can't replicate what you have what you have done in the past to me. That's not good science. There's a something like a 30 05:19 or 40% margin for air out can probably correct me on that if I'm wrong, but there's a there's an accepted 30 or 40% margin of of air 05:28 in those soil test. I mean how reliable is the data? We're getting it we still use that because it's the best tool we have until Al came 05:37 along here and we had a relationship but My goodness as Titus margins are as much money as it cost per acre to farm and and the 05:47 best tool we've got has a 35-40% margin for error. That's this just not acceptable. Yeah, Connor a question for you Connor. Tell me 05:55 what do we sound like old dudes talking about this that the old days and how it's neat. What's coming along is this all seem like completely like oh these guys are 06:04 talking about I know this is here. I know this is coming. I just studied this two years ago. What's really bring 06:10 me some 23 year old perspective Kind of different things that you know Al's doing instead of just looking at the chemistry of the situation this this many 06:23 pounds this this many pounds of this. We want to talk more about the biology of the situation. How is the biology making that available? How long is that going to 06:32 be available? What do we actually have here from a soil perspective? That is goes Way 06:38 Beyond what the old style is doing? You know, I'm really interested in those new technologies. We can work from that Connor 06:45 I said in that very office where you're sitting right now talk to your old man and and we recorded an episode and he said, 06:51 you know what? I think we're on discover that we might have for years. We just went through NPK on 06:57 the field through npca, and it was generally inexpensive, you know, chemical fertilizer came along another great development that really happened 07:03 after World War Two along the soil testing. Am I right out? That's correct, and it was fairly inexpensive until 07:09 this year and we're just through the stuff everywhere and you know, you want more crops what more bushels or yield 07:15 fling more stuff. There Kelly says last year and that very office was talking to him. He said I think we might find out naming that 07:23 we actually have adequate soil. Nutrients in terms of NP and K and even some of the micros there's no way for the plant to get it 07:32 and that's a biological situation. Do you think your old man is right in that regard Connor? Hey, definitely think there's some 07:38 merits that statement. Yeah, do you when's the last time you agree with your old man? It takes time. All right 07:47 now is Kelly right and we're gonna find out it's kind of like, you know, the better technology. We're like good God. Can 07:56 you believe we used to do this? You know, like you believe we used to burn off the natural gas to get 08:02 to the stuff below it that was a practicing like a hundred years ago. Is that where we are are we just fling we are at it 08:08 because we're not even taking care of the biology, you know, you look at the progression of Agriculture and we are definitely at 08:15 a point in time where it's an inflection point we've never really considered the fact that when you look at the amount of soil sampling pull, there's 10 million soil 08:24 samples pulled in North America every year and they're doing one thing they're giving return fertility recommendations. 08:30 And liming rates you can tell the organic matter percentage and all that but we're we're really not effectively looking at the true story of what's going on in the 08:39 soil. And that's a digestive method of moving nutrients that the gut of the plant is the top soil and that's where we have to really kind of focus in on. How can 08:48 we better optimize our nutrient uptake by looking at it from a biological perspective? So yeah, we're on to something just say 10 million soil 08:56 samples pulled every year in the United States of America or in North America North America second. Also majority of 09:02 that to us though. I would say not and it ain't bad. You know, we're kind of talking about how this little Antiquated ain't bad. I mean it's better than not knowing what's out 09:12 there at all right check it. That's right matter and and now soil sampling or you know cation exchange capacity and 09:18 zinc and Boron all that stuff. So you're not saying that we're a stop doing that you're saying the next level is that and 09:25 Our report our standard report is what we call a b crop plus report, which is a conventional solar analysis a complete analysis along with a biological 09:34 profile. So then you can look at the comparison what we have in the soil traditionally is a vast Storehouse of unused nutrients. 09:42 And the reason they're unused is because we damage the microbiology that effectively moves these nutrients. So if 09:48 you can come in and inoculate that practices in place that help open up these Pathways you can begin to start utilizing fertilizer. It's currently on your farm that you've 09:57 never even been able to touch before. So reminding an artist you harvesting those nutrients. Okay, better soil testing allows us to harvest them 10:06 how the testing then you're saying. Here's this thing that's happening. And then you make the Amendments. Uh, is 10:12 that we're doing are we making immense right? I mean the Amendments and in measuring those guys you're working with Kelly tell me and give me an example. 10:20 So we did a complete solo digestion on Kelly's Farm. I don't remember the actual cat on numbers. But if you look at the phosphorus unavailable phosphorus unavailable 10:29 potassium, look at the calcium, you can see that there's high levels of continual use of these catons and I'm the phosphere's not being one. But but specifically 10:38 potassium and calcium you'll see that that sometimes they're in the seven eight thousand pounds per acre. And that that if you you continually adding let's 10:48 say I'm not going to try to throw this particular element under the bus. 10:53 But you know potash for instance and you had this chloride of this this piece in there and you begin to start killing your biology 10:59 and therefore what happens is you don't allow those nutrients to be uptick and you just build them up like year after year after year after year in the soil where they're 11:08 completely unavailable the plants cannot access them because the biology that would normally neutral move those through the the I would 11:17 say the digestive system of the soil through the plant are not there now, you're not like when he's Barefoot bib overall wearing organic types. Are 11:26 you I can be. You're not you're not against using using modern agricultural. No, no point. The point 11:36 here is Damian is that we we've really oh fertilizers are necessary part efficient. Use of them is what we got to look at. Mmm. I mean the whole world 11:45 is is really a wrapped around this idea that we got to add more to get more and that's not the same. That's not the answer. I think we could actually begin to 11:54 really look at its smart method. It's find the soul functions. That's what we want to do with our testing. What is the functionality what's going on here under the soil and 12:03 how can we better optimize the use of your current nutrients? That's brilliant right there Kelly. What's 12:09 the what you started doing this how long ago without? A three years ago 2000 the spring of 2020 is when I met out a couple years ago, so you 12:20 can kind of my farm we're gonna do some sell analysis and see what the biology is like and and you're like sure great. That's good. What did you discover? 12:29 So I'm trying to remember the numbers and because I I've learned so much from Al in the last two years. It has really changed my 12:36 mindset and in his changed the way that we farm and I think about things you know, like Al said they're trying to find an efficient use I would change that word to say it's the correct 12:45 use and again the old soil test with your 40% margin for air with Al's test. You can really identify and pinpoint what 12:54 you need to do. So then you can make it good decision. There's so many farmers out there that have been brainwashed into 13:02 thinking if we don't put a hundred pounds of potassium We're Not Gonna raise the prop. Well, I'll get the total Soul digestibility. There's 13:08 2,200 parts per million of potassium in my top six inches of soil. That's that equates. I believe that The 4400 pounds right you take that thanks. There's 4400 pounds 13:20 a k Damian. Yeah my top six inches of soil. So why do you think you can't raise a crop? If you don't don't put the hundred pounds of hot? 13:29 You're not you you've already got everything. You've already got 44 times more than you actually think you then what's the average guy down the road things 13:38 you got to open it? Yeah, and and we we are as Farmers. We were made to believe by retail AG that if we don't put that bodice on we're not going to raise their crop. 13:47 And how many times do you hear about a big farmer raping the soil and things like that? You're not raping the soil and 13:53 diminishing the the fertility there the soil gets out of balance. What I've learned from Alice. I need to balance the soil. I need to improve 14:02 the biology of the soil, you know, like in my soil I need sulfur to balance it and when I balance it Things become with you know, I've got a friend that that we work 14:11 with now with that plant food product and he said my he's talking to me. He said well, we keep putting on 200 pounds of 14:17 potash every year but my my heels don't ever go up and I looked at his soil test is is okay was very high. But his soil was so 14:26 out of balance because he had too much calcium and when we apply, Or it just opens things up. It balances it and then it 14:32 improves the biology and Improvement improves the organic matter and there's such a lack of education and understanding from Farmers and 14:38 that's you know, that's why I wanted out to be on with us today to try to to try to help start that educational it's not it's not it's not efficiency. If you 14:47 just give an example, you clearly don't have a deficiency of potassium. You've got no boatloads of it and it's not being available 14:53 for Connor. All right, okay. Well as out, you know, we talked about putting that potash on the chloride might the application 15:03 of that potash depending on what's going on through so could very well be a yield limiting fact and here we believe we need to put it on because we need to K, but the 15:12 chloride is damaging your microbial system your biology damaging your soil and instead you need to be looking at it from another perspective to balance the soil. 15:21 It doesn't mean you should never put K on again, right but we really don't know what we're doing. That's my point. We really don't know what we're doing. 15:30 All right. We're Flying Blind and have been since the 1950s really. Well, we're 15:35 we're flying no dou. BT so, you know, it's got like a spoons better than your fingers and if you know a Forks better. It keeps 15:47 you keep getting better. Why what are you learning? Are they finally at the land grant universities? Are they telling you 15:57 about this stuff or is it still because sometimes universities are Cutting Edge and sometimes they kind of 16:03 follow this thing of here's what's been working for the last 50 years. And you know, what? Here's what you need to do. You put 100 pounds of potassium on what are you learning? 16:13 Um, I would say they're probably definitely behind what it comes to balancing the soil and biology. It's still this 16:19 crop removed. This many pounds of this. This many pounds of this you need to at least replace it or try to build it. But they 16:25 we really didn't talk about that that's not available at the school is not balanced. And that's one of the bigger things I've learned going outside of my education. 16:35 So wait a minute. Are you tell me that what we're hearing and doing here at extreme AG is more advanced than what's happening at a top 16:41 10 land grant University like Iowa State. Yeah, I would say that well. You know what now we could just leave it 16:51 right there where your statement I love that's pretty bright in defensive Iowa State Agronomy. They have you know, 17:00 they know Connor they have approached us and Iowa state is involved with netafim and agerson and doing testing on our 17:09 farm because they they told us they said we they know we know we're behind and you know, we live 100 miles from them and they they want to 17:18 they want to get better and we're we're working with them now on our farm. Well, you know, I can't leave a better segue than that 17:24 right there since you just brought it up as one of our sponsors. Let's hear from them right now. We're gonna talk to 17:30 Al and Connor and Kelly but first, let's hear from agerson. Hey Farmers want to save money on fertility without 17:36 sacrificing yield. Harvest last season's nutrients for this season's crop with extract powered by accomplish. 17:44 I'm Damian Mason. I'm host of Extreme Ice cutting the curve and every day we talk about ways to be more profitable to do better by your soils and I'm telling you this might be the answer 17:53 extract powered by accomplish is exclusively available from a nutrient AG Solutions. So contact your local nutrient AG Solutions crop consultant 18:02 to learn more. All right, we're back now. So what you're basically telling me Connor is the AG retail industry is paying off people 18:13 at places like Iowa State and saying don't teach them this new stuff because they'll stop buying potassium. Is that what I'm here you calling it is it's a 18:22 is this like basically it's being covered up and it's all about the cash behind the scenes. I don't know if I have my tin foil hat on that. It's not much conspiracy. But 18:32 there's probably some element of that. I don't know. All right, so what about the solve for why does solve for make potassium more available? This is stuff 18:41 that you know, this is agronomic stuff. Did you know that Connor? Did you know that sulfur putting sulfur in as an amendment makes the 18:47 potassium that's in this oil more available? Oh, yeah, when you have too high of a pH either due to calcium or magnesium your sulfur reacts with 18:56 that to precipitate it out and lower it and make it more available make everything else more available. 19:01 Is the future Connor is the future of care Garrett Land and Cattle going to use more fertilizer or less and just use it more efficiently. I'm 19:10 guessing I know the answer I would much rather use it more efficiently and use less. What do you think as a 23 year old that we've 19:18 been doing wrong at Garrett Landing Cattle even as recently as when you were in high school? 19:22 Besides over applying fertilizer. Is there anything else we're doing wrong when it comes to soil biology? 19:27 That all kinds of things, you know, we we don't know anything about it really it's such a new new field in all aspects of it. I mean, I we want 19:36 to learn how to measure it better. We want to learn how to treat it better. We want to learn all these things from guys like Al and how we can prove 19:42 that now when we talk about sobiology, is there a way that you know, earthworms microorganisms. Can we do something to just boost the life 19:51 in that soil that adds that that instead of amendments with sulfur and amendments with this is there some natural 19:57 thing that we're missing here is that's the with a regenerative concept comes in that we we let organisms 20:03 do some of this work for us like God intended I guess is what's good. Very very good question. There's two layers. 20:12 There's two levels of biology that you got to look at in any in any organic farm. I'm talking 20:18 about for soils to farm soils. You have a primary pool of organisms and these are developed and come through the gut of organisms. See worth worms would 20:27 be a good example of that. I've tested the Verma compost products with our method and you look at the amount of biology coming out of an earthworm. It's phenomenal. We're 20:36 looking at thousands of species per gram. Now what these organisms do is they they build up this primary pool? 20:43 primary pool of bacteria and fungi in the soil Is essential to have good healthy fun? I mean that's like your that's like a bio I would 20:52 say. You know a probiotic. So what happens is that the secondary pathogens and the secondary problems if you don't have if you have a weak primary pool. 21:04 Then you end up having these other problems because what happens is the only carbon Source that's available to feed the primary pool. Is 21:10 that living plant? And so you have what I call Shredder you have disease pressure you'll have insects come in to kill that to feed the primary pool. So my pole point is 21:19 feed the soil first. And you don't have the secondary problems. So yeah, these earthworms are essential. It's not what they're doing. 21:27 As far as aeration. It's what they're providing as far as biology. Only in the testing is 21:34 one thing then, you know, there's a couple of recommendations. Are you kind of now saying? All right. Thanks all you taught 21:42 me a whole bunch. Are we still a long way away from all of the recommendations and practices that we need to do? I mean, is it open up your eyes like you're saying I got this 21:52 biology now analysis and it's dawn on me that there's a lot of stuff we're doing wrong, but I don't know how to fix it. Is that where we are. 22:00 We have learned so much and taken such a big step forward, you know, since working with Alan things like that. But every time I learn one thing 22:09 I think I figure out two or three things. I don't know and this is a very exact thing that's happened here. 22:15 You know Al told me one time everybody worries about the plant be at the corner of the beans, whatever the wheat everybody worries about the plants and if you understood what 22:24 was going on in the soil and you balance the soil and made the soil as healthy as it should be or as it could be the plant is secondary. 22:33 And we all worry about it in the wrong order, but we know so little about the soil, you know, this was the space is the final frontier. It's not the final 22:42 frontier is the soil because such a lack of understanding there and knowledge of what goes on and so so 22:49 yes, we we've learned so much from out. But what I have learned is I don't know a lot. We don't know we don't think anybody does. 22:57 So are we gonna find out and this question for whoever wants to answer it first, you know, we used to think if you were sick you need to bloodletting. So in the 23:06 medieval times they take in and say hi. This person's got cancer. Let's go ahead and drain your blood out of their system. I mean it didn't 23:12 cure them, but they didn't have cancer anymore. It right they killed but the point is you know, are we are we there? I mean, 23:21 is that where we're like 10 years from now, we're gonna say holy. This is like leeches for medical treatment. I mean is there are 23:28 we like gonna find out so much the next decade like can you believe just 10 or 20 years ago? This is what we thought this is what 23:34 we did is that we are I I hope so because I hope it happens that fast Connor. What do you think? I would agree with that? Um, there's a lot 23:43 coming down the road. I think it's gonna be this conversation is gonna be Elementary and pretty quickly. I don't that 23:49 it all spreads that fast so we can figure this stuff out. Well, the frontier is is this whole idea of nutrient rich foods and and Farmers position 23:58 is for providing that and the big food buyers are getting premium pricing for nutrient rich foods as well. So rigidity of 24:07 Agriculture movement is going to explode in the next few years. Yeah, and the thing is people would think if they're listening to this we got somebody in and you know, Ohio listeners right 24:16 now saying are these guys selling out of these guys going region? I put talked about it in my book. That's right 24:22 over my shoulder right there that the future is Some of the best organic practices and some of the most regenerative things that we're learning and meets conventional agriculture, 24:30 but going out and dumping, you know gallons of atrazine on the field we did that and you know now it's the next thing or going out and tilling the soil five to 24:40 seven times before we planned it. Then three times during the cropping season. We did that in 1940s and we lost 24:46 a lot of soil. So I really think that didn't I see once that the number of species or or bacteriums that 24:56 have not been identified within a shovelful soil is like in the is there something like that I read this once I I don't I'm not the ground you 25:05 guys are selling me out here. We found with our testing because we're looking at that bacteria. That's never been seen before. 25:13 Because we've never really applied it. That's only for the last seven or eight years looking at this technology and soils. We've only 25:19 probably actually identified one percent of the total soil bacteria species. I mean it's vast we're not even close tonight 99% of 25:27 the soil bacteria. We're not even sure why it is and so it makes you realize that that's how rudimentary and we're pretty damn good at Production 25:36 Air culture, but we're still currently not as good as we should be right exactly. Yeah, we're gonna see all 25:42 kinds of new technologies and in Concepts come out in the next few years. Yeah Kelly. You said you learned a whole bunch that made you realize where you are then does it make you 25:51 ask? Well, here's what I need because every time I find out that there's this thing I'm like, well that sounds like this is what I need. What do you need? 25:59 We need to be able to identify when the plants are under stress sooner. Yeah, you know the the corn 26:05 will roll up when it gets hot. Well the corner emits ethylene and he met stress for two weeks before it actually 26:11 shows it so wouldn't it be neat if we could identify it and make some sort of an application to to mitigate that 26:20 off, you know to be more efficient. We need to understand how to how to make the the biology of the soil become more 26:29 active. We need to know, you know, what what products to put in there or not to put in there because you know, 26:35 like, you know, like we only know one percent that's and you just said we're good at production agriculture. I would tell you for what's possible and the potential of it. We're not 26:44 we're not good at production agriculture. We're and we're worse that raising soybeans and we are Youth and that you've said that repeatedly and 26:53 I think it's I think there's some somebody at the American soybean Association is probably like censoring us right now because you've been 26:59 saying that give the reason why you think that you gave the example that in in your best year you did this but in your worship was this how the hell is it 27:08 that close of a spread I think was your example if you go back to like when I became and we have we've 27:14 gotten better over the last decade in 2012. We had a terrible drought and at that time I would have told you successful soybeans were 55 bushel, that would 27:23 have been my expectation. Now my expectation is 65, but in 2012 in the worst drought in a couple Generations, we still race 43. 27:31 Know so if a terrible drought I can still race 43, but at that time I thought 55 was success. 27:38 There's a lot of low-hanging fruit and soybeans and I don't dislike soybeans. I just I want to figure it out. 27:45 If you're not watching versus listening, that means that in the worst drought that the Midwest had seen and since 27:51 88 in 2012. He was hoping for 55. That was Target goal soybeans. He did 43 that means he still harvested 78% of 28:00 a yeah of a yield and and so what's that tell you that means that on the good years that weren't the drought years. We should have been better than 55 exactly. That's 28:09 that's my point. And you know, I heard a speaker one time say that you've got to identify the yield limiting factor on your farm. You've got to be 28:18 adults enough to realize that it's probably you. And and you know, and that's that, you know, that that humbles me to feel that way, but I try 28:28 to think I try to think without a box no box exists because there's such a lack of understanding and what we're doing when we don't know 99% of what's 28:37 going on in the soil. So if we don't know that we are truly the yield limiting factor on our Farms. Good Connor. What are you convinced that you're doing wrong right now 28:46 this year in the summer of 2022 when it comes to soil biology at Garrett Lane and cattle. I think we really need to look more into how we're 28:55 impacting our organic matter our carbon. What can we do with that? What can we do to feed that 29:02 microbial system to grow that better? How can we be the most efficient in that? What can we do in season? I guess can we affect to make 29:11 that digestive process work better in season while the crops actually there don't take one thing that heard from you took it to Al because I'm convinced about this, but I want your 29:20 the experts perspective. Tillage I've said is gonna become outdated the most important asset we have and we go out 29:32 there after the crops off in October in some places plow it up and then let it sit Baron and expose and 29:38 lifeless for for six months until we start right there again. That has to be hard on biology. Are we going to in another few years? 29:48 Say my God. What were we doing? Were we are we harming soil biology with letting it not let with all the tillage. 29:56 Yeah, we are. Do you know I started this Statistics the other day if you look at the state flags across North America, I 30:02 think there's 17 flags that have the mobile World plow and there's on their state flag. I mean, we we think that 30:08 that's the symbol of agriculture. And what what we've done I mean what we don't really realize we do when we till that it extensively. 30:17 Is we kill the fungal species that mycorrhizal relationship on the plant root is essential to storing carbon. If we don't have that function going carbon is 30:26 not stored in the soil. And so what happens is we release the carbon dioxide with tillage we end up destroying those fungal relationships with the plant. And the first 30:35 thing, you know is you begin to start depleting your carbon. And we can turn that around pretty quickly if we just 30:41 do a few things like Kelly said our biggest problem is ourselves. We need to change our way of thinking and how to how do 30:47 we build this carbon back? That's the PowerHouse. That's what that's the governor of our 30:51 I would say your your equity and your soul is your carbon. The point is biology and carbon go hand in hand. Let's go back to biology. We're gonna wrap this 31:00 thing up Kelly. You don't till anymore and your neighbors do and then they judge you and you probably judge them. 31:09 But the point is what we just hear right here at the worst thing we can do for the fungal and and the micro. What's the word again? 31:15 My Horizon which means root fungus my risel Michael risel. Yeah, there's two forms. We'll talk about that in a minute. 31:23 It's essential that fungal pop that fungal ratio between the arbuscular and ectomycorrhizal or essential 31:29 for storing carbon. That's how it happens the carbohydrates from the plant feed these and we know 31:35 we always think about what's going up into the plant but we got to think about what the plants providing to the soil our answer me this even 31:41 though I'm playing devil's advocate here because I'm all about cover crops. I'm all about no till I think that's the future but the guy that's down 31:47 the road from Kelly. It's out there just just chilling the hell out of stuff as soon as that crop comes off and October September, he's 31:53 got the guy behind him hired man is without their tilling it up. He's gonna say, yeah. Well, you know what I get 31:59 great yields. Anyhow, so what what the hell difference does it make it doesn't seem to hurt my soul apology. What are you gonna tell him Kelly? 32:06 Great yields compared to what? What compared to what you know, he he's you know, you can't fault somebody if they're making 32:15 a living and things like that and to make a change that would be a very drastic change for a person doing 32:21 tillage to tell them that they should go cold turkey and have no tillage they're making a living. They're supporting their family. They're happy. It's it's 32:27 a safe conservative decision to do that because change scares a lot of people but that, you know, great yields compared to what to what you made a few 32:36 years ago or great yields compared to what's possible. I would say what's possible? No, you don't I I would tell you what's possible. 32:42 I don't have great years one of you don't know one of my favorite things about joining up with extreme AG which has been now for over a year is that they don't 32:51 do that thing. I always said if you want to reinvent you want to be relevant tomorrow don't look at your competition. Look at the marketplace of 32:58 the future and what the demands are gonna be and I think that's where this all ties together. The regenerative train is coming sometimes because 33:04 it's economically viable sometimes because it's what's absolutely right for the soil sometimes also because there's gonna 33:09 Legislative or regulatory reasons we have to do it. I hope that doesn't affect us. Hope we're ahead of the curve and we're doing it. We're 33:15 doing it, you know proactively What about the person I want to ask Connor the person that says well, you know what you got six months four months of 33:25 winter. There's no biology happening. Anyhow, there's no biology happens out here in December, January and February in Northwest, 33:31 Iowa. Is that true? Let's dormant and but deep down it it's it's still active and just because it's not. 33:40 It's frozen. It's not active there. You're gonna strip all the food away from it. I you still don't want to till it wait. 33:48 When you tell it and you destroy that biology every year it's gonna take more and more fertilizer to accomplish the same thing and you're not 33:54 you're not moving up word introductory. You're just creating more costs for you down the road and at some point that's that's sustainable. All right. So Al that's all accurate statement. 34:04 So your thing is all about the biology and you have enough of a career. Are you looking back at some of the stuff you 34:10 did when you came out of Oklahoma State and you were Connor's age, you're saying? Oh God, we sure got stuff wrong. I almost 34:16 feel bad about the stuff. I told people to do 35 years ago 1980s. We I took 27 hours 34:22 of chemistry and got my degree in Soul science, Oklahoma State One class of biology and that 34:29 was plant biology and had no idea that even saw biology was even considered. Yeah. So yeah, it was all about nutritional management and 34:38 I'm sure that the University still teaching that same practice today. All right. So take me to the next take me ahead. I've been protecting stuff 34:45 you take me ahead and we're gonna get out of here. We're just go companies like biome makers by the way, not even a sponsor of extreme 34:51 egg yet. Tell me what's gonna tell me what we're gonna know about biology and how we're gonna make it better how we're just we're gonna make Kelly and Connor more money. We're gonna 35:00 make our our soil worth more money and we're going to be doing things right and it's it's gonna Amaze everybody tell me give me the amazing future story. I 35:09 think the future is going to be you know, when you look at that 10 million Soul samples pulled and that was all basically started 35:15 based on this when when it really took off was with the implementation of what we call Precision anchor Precision agriculture. We're looking at, you 35:24 know, great samplings and mapping systems and things of that sort. I think we're going to realize pretty quickly and it's happening within just a 35:33 few years I've been about makers is that The functionality of soil has never been really looked at efficiencies need to be happening. We know that we've over we've over 35:42 fertilized and really polluted our groundwater and our streams and our environment with the overuse of these athletes of these fertilizers. The future is going to be when it 35:51 really comes down to it is is what's right. What's healthy? And what's most efficient we want to get 35:57 Roi up? I mean when you look at the amount of Of revenues that go to the retailer. They're not going to the farmer. That's what's really sad. And we got 36:07 to really take this back into the hands of the farmer and didn't get him to really realize that the first thing he needs to do is take control of his equity 36:13 and that's his farm him or her him or her or him or her him or her very very true. All right, and that's the future the future is 36:22 going to be biological and regenerative agriculture. I see it happen. I want to continue to get better and the more 36:28 education that we get from the soil the more education, you know, the more we talk with Al and things like that. It's pointing 36:36 Us in the direction to do whatever we can to make the soil healthier. That doesn't mean we're going to switch to become an organic farm, but I 36:45 would tell you again no box exists, and you just need to go where the day to lead you. Yeah, I like it. I think this is a really good 36:54 subject. We're going to hear more from in the years ahead and it's good thing because it means we're finally actually 37:00 looking at again. This is a living organism Connor. What did we get? Right and what do we get wrong? And what do we 37:06 need to do? Right I wrap us up. Take us out here. I think the easiest way to piss everybody off is not agree with any Camp. Everybody's got 37:15 their conventional Camp their regenerative Camp the organic Camp and like you said earlier we want to take what's best from each of them and do the best job. We can't all 37:24 over and we don't want to be stuck in anyone came. Yeah, and I'd say the soil biology the fact that we're finally paying attention to it. I was actually gleeful don't use 37:33 that word often. I was actually gleeful as the former soil judger wanted to be agronomist. When I started reading about 37:39 soil biology and soil Health five years ago. The only problem is it's kind of like the words sustainable people use it. However, they want. I saw a guy out just telling the 37:48 hell of his ground saying making sure that our soil is good and healthy and I'm like 37:52 It's like hitting somebody with a brick and saying making sure that you can take a punch. I'm like, no, I'm not sure. That's what we're doing 37:58 here. Right? His name is Al tubes if people want to learn more about this go to where we send them And then 38:07 Kelly Garrett, you know how to find him. He's one of the original founders of extreme Aggies and Airy in Iowa and that's his son Connor Garrett. 38:13 Connor thanks for being here, buddy. Thanks for having me you imagine next time next time we'll be talking about carbon and and how important that 38:21 is and you'll hear more from these guys. Both of them. I'm Damian Mason. Thanks for being here. Check out all the great stuff and extreme agnot 38:27 Farm share with your friend and please drop us a line. If you have a subject that you would like us to cover that. We have not covered yet till next time I'm Damian that's a wrap for this episode of cutting 38:36 the Curve. But there's plenty more check out where you can find past episodes instructional videos and articles 38:44 to help you squeeze more profit out of your farm cutting. The curve is brought to you by Advanced Drainage Systems the leader 38:53 in agriculture Water Management Solutions.

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