By: Dr. Jim Smart, Shelly Greving
One of the management practices gaining a lot of attention is the use of cover crops. Like many practices that receive a lot of publicity, there are clear advantages to using them. However, those advantages quickly diminish when they are not managed properly. Cover crops are high atop the current list of trends, but diligent management is essential if you want to capture the benefits and avoid potential headaches.
Actively growing plants, which cover soil most of the year, help to maintain or improve soil...
Systems Approach Delivers the Breadth and Depth of Farming Responsibly
Farmers are, without doubt, a critically important resource needed to feed a rapidly growing global population. However, those same producers face a challenging paradox: balancing environmental concerns while maintaining soil productivity and still earning an income.
As advocates for sustainable farming practices, growers attempt to minimize agricultural run-off, reduce nutrient loss in fields, and maximize nutrient uptake. Farmers with tightened budgets are beginning to reexamine their approach to soil...
5th Generation Indiana Farm Family Make Soil Priority
Strolling across Charlie Fox’s farm in Seymour, Indiana, you see a farming operation inspired by innovation and a responsibility for sustainable farming. The 5th generation farm has advanced agriculture by pioneering innovative conservation practices. The Fox family has used the Maximum Farming System for six years and recognizes that success starts with understanding the soil.
The farm was originally established by Fox’s great grandfather after he returned from the Civil War more than 150 years ago. Throughout the years...
Determined Farmer Saves Farm with Help of the Maximum Farming System
When Chris Pettz harvested the last of his crops in the fall of 2005, he wasn’t sure what the future would hold.
“Five years after converting from flood irrigation to center pivot irrigation, I was seeing some yield loss. Our yields were actually declining with the new irrigation system, and herbicides and insecticides weren’t working anymore either. Everything was gradually declining,” Pettz said.
Pettz farms for non-profit landowner, Garden City Company, and the majority of his fields are located...
A Controversy that has Cost Farmers Countless Dollars
American farmers have spent nearly $34 billion on Potassium since 1980. Has this investment actually contributed to an increase in yield or crop quality? Not according to a recent peer reviewed research study authored by S.A. Kahn, R.L. Mulvaney and T.R. Ellsworth that found that after a survey of more than 2,100 yield response trials it was confirmed that Potassium Chloride (KCl) fertilization is unlikely to increase crop yield. Contrary to the instilled perception of KCl as a valuable commodity, more than 1,400 field trials...
Research Continues to Prove Effectiveness of the Maximum Farming System
The art of foliar feeding production crops is a hot agricultural topic that is gaining ground and publicity. An increasing number of farmers are using the practice to fine-tune their nutrient strategies to create a better crop stand and maximize yields.
A leading industry expert in foliar nutrition, Dr. Patrick Brown and his team of researchers from the University of California, Davis have been in collaboration with Ag Spectrum to conduct research that furthers the understanding of foliar feeding in the...
Two Ag Spectrum Associates Discover Opportunity in a Small Nebraska Town
The small town of Minden, Nebraska, is home to a smattering of restaurants, several town festivals, and rich, tillable acres as far as the eye can see. Production agriculture and the supportive businesses that accompany it to supply equipment, seed, parts, and chemicals dominate the rural town’s industry.
Jeff Pettz, long-time resident of Minden, shares those same rural ties to the community. His contribution as a Maximum Farming System dealer has radiated new light on the traditional agricultural...
Plant Productivity Flourishes in Healthy, Robust Soils
Imagine a tree, growing in the strangest of places, atop the roof of the Decatur County Courthouse, in Greensburg, Indiana. For more than 150 years, trees have been growing out of this dominant fixture in the community, peaking many visitors’ curiosity. What started as a seedling is now 15 feet tall and has survived merely upon nutrients in the roof dust and moisture in the atmosphere. What makes this possible? Photosynthesis.
What’s the difference between this tree’s environment and most plants? Soil. A nurturing bed...
Lead Don't Fallow - Challenges of Arid Climate are No Match for Maximum Farming System
5 Rs of Nutrient Stewardship - Systems Approach Delivers the Breadth and Depth of Farming Responsibly
Challenges of an Arid Climate are No Match for Maximum Farming System
The challenges of dryland farming require most Montana farmers to leave their land fallow in order to conserve moisture for the next season’s crop. One year of barren land provides time for crop residues to break down and returns nutrients back to the soil for the subsequent crop, but that also means reduced profits.
When Jerry Philipps took over the family operation he made the decision to continue his father’s no-till tradition that was started more than 30 years ago. The no-till management practice has...