[Sticky] what is 1% organic matter worth to you?
Every time people talk about anything other then full tillage they always compare the yield to justify that it does or doesn't work. But what about the long run?Knowing that in 10-15 years you have 1% more organic matter? for every 1% gain in OM you potentially have 20-30 N credits, about 5 lbs of P, 2 lbs of sulfur, 4% more water holding capacity, better ability to get the water to the plants that it takes in, 10% less erosion, better soil structure means less ruts in wet conditions, faster water infiltration for less ponding and run off.
has anyone had a drought? would 4% more water have made any difference? would the water that fell before the drought getting into the soil vs running off have made a difference?
What about your wallet? 20 free N credits for me is 1/7 of my program. 14% less money to have the same N credits to my crop. if your corn had more water for a potential better yield and 14% less dollars invested would that help it cash flow? what about infiltration. If you had tremendously better infiltration and yes I did say tremendously because compared to full tillage soil water infiltration in a soil health program shoots up very quickly. With that better infiltration you have less run off and erosion. some of that run off might be your fertilizer dollars. All of that run off is potential yield leaving your field. Do you think that if that run off water was in your crop you would have better yields? what about ponding? Ever have a yellow spot in your crop because of puddling water? the N you put there is going away very quickly from denitrification. The crop is suffering because its going days without oxygen. what if you ended up with a more even yield across the field? or them bad spots jumped 10-30-even 50% in production? Yep i have experienced that! Would that help make a crop cash flow?
$50 dollars an acre. What if buy gaining that 1% OM you ended up getting to the point where you are saving $50 dollars and acre on fuel,labor and equipment costs?
Your journey to gain that 1% is going to be a minimal tillage program, there is going to be a big reduction in equipment cost, fuel cost and labor cost. Part of getting to that 1% is going to be crop diversity and also covers. what if that eventually got you even more N credits, water infiltration, better weed management, helped reduce more tillage? So now with that 1% OM saving you fertility money its also giving you better weed control, huge reduction of tractor and equipment costs, fuel and labor are also reduced.
What say you?
Some really good points.
Have you seen the discussions of how OM changes constantly? Not always just increasing, its like a wave depending on the crop grown/growing that year. Depending if the crop is high carbon or low carbon and whether there is a cover/crops pulling up needed nutrients. Really adds another dimension to the journey to build %11 soils ha.
It seems like we're in that spot where the more scientists learn about the soil the more questions we end up with instead of more answers? Kind of like biology when the first microscopes let him see us l they thought they had all the answers until somebody saw an atom then we went through a whole new learning curve and thought we had it pretty mastered and now we can see the parts of an atom which really starts to get conserv a conversations going