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  • Beth Tharp

122 Dump Trucks of Soil

The spring rains continue! Yesterday morning I went out to feed and our small creek was raging well above flood level, filling our valley with water. This made me reflect on the power of an immense amount of water and how we manage our farm to handle these events to steward our God-given resources.

 

Any ideas what the number one pollutant of water is?

    

 Soil.

 

When we get heavy rains and the water drains off of the surface it carries anything it can with it. The good news is that we can manage our farm ground to significantly reduce the amount of soil erosion that goes down stream.

 

On our farm we not only raise animals, but the feedstuffs they eat on our farmland. On this ground we practice no-til, meaning we do not till or plow up the ground between our crops, leaving the crop residues and soil structure in place. We also plant cover crops on all of our fields for a living plant, with roots that hold the soil in place, to be on our fields year-round! In turn we are not exposing baren soil to be eroded and carried downstream, but to remain where it is.

 

In fact, in 2022 we estimated we saved 1,945 tons of soil or 122 dump trucks of soil from being carried downstream from our farm alone as compared to if we would have tilled and left our ground barren over the winter and early spring months. Wow! It is humbling the impact we can make by the management practices we choose.




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