Farmers in southern Minnesota test soil health with buried underwear

Farmers in southern Minnesota test soil health with buried underwear

All the contents of Eric and Amanda Watson buried in one of the fields in the Harness briefing this summer are belts.

They joined several farmers in southern Minnesota and found a creative way to test their soil health: in July, they burrowed holes in corn and soybean fields, put on cotton underwear, and a few months later Check to see if the briefs are broken down.

The farmers who joined the program called “soil your internal organs” and gathered on a piece of land in Faribo County on Monday to share their results.

Burying underwear in the field is not a scientific test of soil health and is not always effective. Most of the events on Monday focused on other signs of soil health, such as evidence of worm activity. But farmers have found that burying underwear is an interesting way to raise awareness of the importance of soil health.

Volsens planted corn and soybeans near Walters, Minnesota, proudly smeared the remains of lingerie on a bright yellow plate with a plexiglass cover and marked them in underground farming: no-till for five years.

Most Minnesota farmers in southern Minnesota still cultivate fields, tearing the soil after harvest in the fall and before the snow flies, leaving a dark landscape without plant debris.

“The darker the better, that is, I have been told,” Eric Watson said.

But a campaign in the soil health community has shown that farming is unnecessary – actually making the soil less healthy.

Walson also planted crops for three years in the field, burying the disintegrated underwear. Cover crops – such as ryegrass and clover planted with cash crops such as corn and soybeans – have attracted attention because they increase the amount of plants and organisms grown in the soil and increase nutrition. They also remain intact and protect it from erosion.

Volsens and their four children buried cotton underwear in other areas where they used other practices. They want to see if the protective measures really help their soil to break down the underwear faster.

result? In the traditional field – the land without crops and the place where the soil has been cultivated for many years – the buried briefs are almost completely intact, although they stayed underground for two months.

“This comparison makes me very happy,” Eric Watson said.

Volsens has two underwears in the underwear show. They concluded that planting cover crops requires extra effort, and skipping farming can provide multiple benefits – healthy soil, less labor and less fuel costs.

“I am really happy to see that he is practicing to see the results,” said Amanda Watson.

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