Making Soil Health Systems Work Requires Patience, Persistence, Mangement And Cover CropsWed, 20 Feb 2019 21:59:14 CST
Jimmy Emmons serves on the board of the Dewey County Conservation District and is the current president of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts and farms about 2,000 acres in Leedey, OK. He gave a presentation Wednesday morning at the OSU All Crops Conference in Norman over “how to make soil health systems work in Oklahoma.” Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Assistant Farm Director Carson Horn was able to ask Jimmy exactly how to get that done.
“You’ve got to be passionate about making a difference,” Emmons says. “The use of cover crops in a no till situation will get you on a good path.”
Part of the discussion in preparing for drought risk situations is expanding the crops of your operation. Varying what is planted based on the season Mother Nature has given. This provides the peace of mind not being locked into a straight commodity market, and spreads out your water use as well as harvest times for the year.
“Everything I do is not successful,” admitted Jimmy. “If you do it like I am you’re going to have failures. Whether it be in drought or termination at the wrong time or something, but we have to learn from those failures instead of just accepting them.”
PPM is something Emmons mentions. He believes success is found by Patience, Persistence, and Management. Success for him is also largely associated with increasing his organic matter, striving to better the water holding capacity.
“Carbon is the key to the system,” according to Emmons. “If the cash crop is a bean/pea/cotton - low carbon, high nitrogen. Then you need to follow up with a high carbon cover crop. Same goes if you have a large corn crop with lots of carbon, you can plant a lower carbon cover crop.”
Wildfire ripped through Dewey County last year. A terrible year for countless producers; that being said, we saw rangeland responded better, quicker. Emmons credits better grazing practices for the improved grass stand. He says he has seen his soil change for better in terms of building resilience for the inevitable bad times.
Jimmy goes into more detail on what he’s learned from his farming practices in their full interview which can be heard by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below and the bottom of the page. They also talked about the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts’ upcoming conference.
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