Soil Health and Stalk Decomposition
18 Jan 243 min 12 sec

Fresh off his visit to Kelly Garrett's farm in Iowa, Temple Rhodes talks about the differences in stalk decomposition, the role of cattle in improving soil health, and the the challenges of no-till farming, especially in corn-on-corn sequences, and the benefits of integrating techniques like vertical tilling and cover crops. 

00:00 The other day, I got a opportunity to go out there and see Kelly Garrett, um, out in Iowa and get, got to see what he does with stalk residue out here 00:09 where we are in the East coast and some people down south, our stalks, they turn very black. 00:14 And our, our biology kind of breaks down faster. We run stalk choppers on our, on our corn heads. And the reason that we do, it's 00:22 'cause we can get the breakdown faster. Now, what I saw out there was incredible. It's so exciting for me to see in a different environment 00:30 because in that environment they look like they just harvested their corn yesterday. Now you realize what the guys go through out, out west 00:37 and up north where they can't get their stalks to break down at all. So you realize that what they have to go through, 00:44 it's either they have a really, really strong, um, no-till game or they try to implement things to try to break down residue, right? 00:53 So whether it's a product or whether it's tillage, and that's why tillage is such a big deal out there. And maybe it's not a big deal to some of the guys down south 01:02 and maybe the guys in my area. Tillage isn't a big deal. But, and what we have here is, uh, 01:07 this was vertical tilled in, um, out here. So, uh, and we planted a cover crop. So we do that and we put cattle on it 01:15 and we try to bring it back. So this is irrigated ground, right? So in the past we've watched our irrigated ground 01:23 continuously go down, down, down, down, down in yield. I really don't know what it is, but sometimes I kind 01:30 of always wanna point the finger towards, you know, maybe it's the water quality, maybe it's something in the water, 01:35 maybe it's this, maybe it's that. I don't know what it is. But since we've been putting cattle on these farms that are, 01:41 have irrigation on 'em in the past couple years, we're starting to see that build back, change in and make a change, um, for the better. 01:49 So is it getting the nutrients out of the stalks and out of the cover crop and getting it back into the soil in a different way? 01:57 We don't know that, but what I can tell you is, is having cattle on the soil is making huge improvements in, in some of these environments. 02:07 Kelly is seeing that. I saw Kelly's different versions out there. We rode through his fields 02:12 and I can't get over how he can plant no till into some of those fields. And, and in my opinion, if he didn't run that, you know, 02:20 that airway that he's got along with running cattle out there on that ground, I don't foresee him, I don't know 02:26 how he would get a corn plant to have a, to actually have a good emergence there. I, I can't see that. 02:34 You know, you have to have a strong no-till game if you wanted to do corn on corn, on corn. But in some of them versions where he did it in September, 02:41 hit it with an airway and then he's got cattle on it, man, he could go out there and if the, if the conditions were right, 02:48 he could plant it tomorrow and it would do a great job. I mean, talk about changing our soil and quit treating our soil like dirt, 02:57 treating our soil like soil. Guys, we'll be back to you soon with a lot of information on this. 03:02 I'm going to run some trials on this year. Kelly is as well. I can't wait to get back to you with this information.

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