Beacon Tabs 2018 Down on the Farm - Page 6

6-B THE BEACON www.coshoctonbeacontoday.com APRIL 4, 2018 By Beth Scott beth@coshoctoncountybeacon.com COSHOCTON – Soil is responsible for everything we eat. Not only does soil produce vegetables, but it also produces the grass or grain for livestock. There are approximately 40 different types of soil and each can be used for different things. Coshocton County is mostly made up of silt loam soil, which is the most common soil characteristic in the State of Ohio. The reason for a variety of soil types is due to the fact that soil is made up of three ingredients: sand, silt, and clay. The variety of soil depends on how much of each mineral is in the soil. Soil is made up of 45 percent rocks and minerals, five percent organic matter, 25 percent water, and 25 percent air. The Coshocton Soil and Water Conservation District use conservation practices to find that perfect balance for farmers to grow and produce good and healthy crops. Certain soils are classified as being better than others for farming. Soil found in valleys may not be as productive due to wetness and poor drainage, causing roots to starve for oxygen. The Coshocton SWCD can recommend drainage practices in this case to help make these soils COMES WITH 80HP AND A LEGACY. more productive. Coshocton SWCD can help interpret soil tests for farmers to help them understand the needs of their soil to grow their preferred crops. “Our technicians work with producers to see what works best in their soil to produce a crop,” said Deb Bigelow, SWCD director. Managing the soil has changed drastically in the last five to ten years. Where years ago, farmers were managing an entire field with the same method, many farmers are now managing their soil acre by acre and can apply different additives to each acre depending on what the soil needs to thrive. Only using enough nutrients for what a crop needs is important so the excess does not run off the landscape into waterways. Erosion of top soil is also a concern among farmers, who use that top layer to plant their crop as that is where most of the nutrients are found. If the top soil erodes too much, crops won’t be able to grow. “The cover crop program is a huge benefit for soil, not only for erosion protection, but it helps leave nutrients in the soil,” said Bigelow. “Getting that cover crop on early is a real asset to keeping that soil in place through the winter.” 4X4 Get more work done with Stampede’s relentless 80HP EFI engine, 2,000 pounds of towing and 59 lb-ft of torque. When you’re part of the same Textron family that builds precision-engineered helicopters and jets, power is in your DNA. BuildYourStampede.com BUILT RIGHT. WARNING: Textron Off Road side-by-sides can be hazardous to operate. For your safety, always wear a seat belt, helmet, eye protection, and protective clothing. Never operate or ride in a Textron Off Road side-by-side while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Textron Off Road recommends that all operators take a safety training course. Training is available at www.ROHVA.org. Operators must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license. ©2017 Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc. RIGHT HERE. TextronOffRoad.com EXODUS CYCLES INC 4130 S.R. 83, MILLERSBURG, OH 44654 330-674-7433 • www.exoduscycles.com Visit exoduscycles.com for a complete selection of new and used ATV’s! Soil essential for everyday life 0004_032818 Cover crops may have also helped this year with the harsh winter. The climate dictates everything that lives in the soil. “Microbes, earthworms, pests, everything that lives in the soil are always changing,” said Zach Wallace, district technician. “If nothing is living in the soil, it would be sterile.” “We try to work with farmers to help them manage it the best they can.” - Ryan Medley Everything in the soil is interconnected, its nutrients, water-holding capacity, etc., and all contributes to soil health. “Some people change what they’ve done to the soil and it’s changed how much crop they produce,” said Ryan Medley, district technician. The physical properties and chemical properties of soil are what the Coshocton SWCD and local farmers try to manipulate to create the best scenario for planting a bountiful crop. “Truly what it all gets back to is management,” said Medley. “We try to work with farmers to help them manage it the best they can.” When warm weather finally arrives and farmers are itching to start planting, Medley suggests waiting until the soil is ready for planting. “The soil is going to tell you when it’s ready,” said Medley. “If it comes up in blocks or mud when you’re tilling, it’s not ready yet. It’s too wet. It all goes back to the type of soil.” Like anything else found in nature, soil has a life cycle. Soil is driven by oxygen and carbon dioxide. That life cycle can stop if the soil becomes too saturated as water will replace air in the soil or if there is excessive heat and no rain. The organisms living in the soil will either migrate WE HAVE YOU COVERED! • SAND • FILL DIRT • CRUSHED GRAVEL • TOP SOIL • LIMESTONE or burn up. Soil is made up of more than just the ground we walk on. It breaks down the deeper you go into layers called horizons. Not only does the soil type change across the landscape, but it also changes the further down you go. Another way to help the health of soil is by crop rotation. “Our ancestors did a lot of rotation crops,” said Medley. “They did a lot of annual crops, two to three years of hay, then one year of corn.” Some farmers manage the soil with specific herbicides and fertilizer so they don’t have to rotate crops each year, but Bigelow suggests that rotation is still important for soil health and to help prevent erosion. The best way to know what nutrients your soil needs is to have your soil tested. Local agriculture co-ops can pull soil samples, send them to the lab, and then an agronomist can help you interpret your results. SWCD technicians can also interpret these soil tests for agricultural purposes. For someone who has a garden or small farm, OSU Extension can send your samples to a lab and review the results with you. For more information on how to have your soil tested, contact the Coshocton SWCD at 740-622-8087 ext. 4 or OSU Extension at 740-622-2265. DID YOU KNOW: If the top soil erodes away, it can take up to 500 years for that top soil to reform? Top soil is considered to be the top 12 inches of soil. • WASHED GRAVEL • PLASTIC CULVERT PIPE • FILTER SAND AND GRAVEL FOR SEPTIC SYSTEMS • SAND STONE RIP RAP WALHONDING VALLEY SAND & GRAVEL CO. 740.824.5251 • Fax: 740.824.4971 Delivery Available Monday-Friday 7:00-5:00 27679 SR 206, Walhonding, OH 43843 0030_032917 6-B THE BEACON www.coshoctonbeacontoday.com COSHOCTON – Soil is responsible for every- thing we eat. Not only does soil produce vegetables, but it also produces the grass or grain for livestock. Th ere are approxi- mately 40 diff erent types of soil and each can be used for diff erent things. Co- shocton County is mostly made up of silt loam soil, which is the most common soil characteristic in the State of Ohio. Th e reason for a variety of soil types is due to the fact that soil is made up of three ingredients: sand, silt, and clay. Th e variety of soil depends on how much of each mineral is in the soil. Soil is made up of 45 percent rocks and minerals, fi ve percent organic matter, 25 percent water, and 25 percent air. Th e Coshocton Soil and Water Conser- vation District use conservation practices to fi nd that perfect balance for farmers to grow and produce good and healthy crops. Certain soils are classifi ed as being better than others for farming. Soil found in valleys may not be as productive due to wetness and poor drainage, causing roots to starve for oxygen. Th e Coshocton SWCD can recommend drainage prac- tices in this case to help make these soils Soil essential for everyday life more productive. Coshocton SWCD can help interpret soil tests for farmers to help them under- stand the needs of their soil to grow their preferred crops. “Our technicians work with producers to see what works best in their soil to produce a crop,” said Deb Bigelow, SWCD director. Managing the soil has changed dras- tically in the last fi ve to ten years. Where years ago, farmers were managing an entire fi eld with the same method, many farmers are now managing their soil acre by acre and can apply diff erent additives to each acre depending on what the soil needs to thrive. Only using enough nutri- ents for what a crop needs is important so the excess does not run off the landscape into waterways. Erosion of top soil is also a concern among farmers, who use that top layer to plant their crop as that is where most of the nutrients are found. If the top soil erodes too much, crops won’t be able to grow. “Th e cover crop program is a huge benefi t for soil, not only for erosion pro- tection, but it helps leave nutrients in the soil,” said Bigelow. “Getting that cover crop on early is a real asset to keeping that soil in place through the winter.” COMES WITH 80HP AND A LEGACY. 4X4 Get more work done with Stampede’s relentless 80HP EFI engine, 2,000 pounds of towing and 59 lb-ft of torque. When you’re part of the same Textron family that builds precision-engineered helicopters and jets, power is in your DNA. BuildYourStampede.com Cover crops may have also helped this year with the harsh winter. Th e climate dictates everything that lives in the soil. “Microbes, earthworms, pests, every- thing that lives in the soil are always changing,” said Zach Wallace, district technician. “If nothing is living in the soil, it would be sterile.” “We try to work with farmers to help them manage it the best they can.” - Ryan Medley Everything in the soil is interconnect- ed, its nutrients, water-holding capacity, etc., and all contributes to soil health. “Some people change what they’ve done to the soil and it’s changed how much crop they produce,” said Ryan Medley, district technician. Th e physical properties and chemical properties of soil are what the Coshocton SWCD and local farmers try to manipu- late to create the best scenario for plant- ing a bountiful crop. “Truly what it all gets back to is man- agement,” said Medley. “We try to work with farmers to help them manage it the best they can.” When warm weather fi nally arrives and farmers are itching to start planting, Medley suggests waiting until the soil is ready for planting. “Th e soil is going to tell you when it’s ready,” said Medley. “If it comes up in blocks or mud when you’re tilling, it’s not ready yet. It’s too wet. It all goes back to the type of soil.” Like anything else found in nature, soil has a life cycle. Soil is driven by oxygen and carbon dioxide. Th at life cycle can stop if the soil becomes too saturated as water will replace air in the soil or if there is excessive heat and no rain. Th e organ- isms living in the soil will either migrate or burn up. Soil is made up of more than just the ground we walk on. It breaks down the deeper you go into layers called horizons. 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