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Agricultural News

Healthy Soil Delivers Biological Horsepower for a No Till Farming Operation

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 14:43:32 CST

Healthy Soil Delivers Biological Horsepower for a No Till Farming Operation North Dakota farmer Gabe Brown was one of the most popular speakers at this year's No Till on the Plains in Salina, Ks. Brown told the story of his farm and the fact that now he is farming "in nature's image" using cover crops extensively, which has allowed him to eliminate commercial fertilizers and greatly reduce herbicides. His cover crops are not just a single variety or plant- but rather what he calls a cocktail of several types of plants- up to a nine way mix of plants which he contends rapidly improves the health of his soil.

Brown talked with us about his "mob grazing" concept of grazing large numbers of cattle for a very limited amount of time. He will take a large number of cattle and graze them for just a few hours before moving them to the next section. He contends his rate of gain can easily be two to three pounds daily.

Brown adds that he has talked to some Oklahoma wheat producers at the No Till on the Plains conference and talked about adding some diversity with a plant mix to be planted with winter wheat which he believes will enhance the wheat grazing experience for those that want to run cattle on wheat pasture.

Using his techniques, Brown told people at the No Till on the Plains event that he was able to take his farm from a low profitability operation to one that is highly profitable that he will be able to pass along to his son- a farm that will be passed along debt free. His contention is that there are ways to solve problems and not just tinker with the symptoms. On the farm, he believes it all starts with getting your soil as healthy as you possibly can, and he is a big believer that continuous no till is part of that equation.

Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear our full conversation with Gabe Brown from the 2012 No Till on the Plains Winter Conference.


Ron Hays talks with Gabe Brown at the No Till on the Plains Winter Conference
right-click to download mp3


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