Nov 26, 2018
This week, we present a follow-up to the interview I conducted last week, in Episode 27, with Gary Zimmer. I hope you enjoy the chance to dive deeper into some of the topics raised in the previous episode.
Gary has been a key figure in the development of regenerative agriculture in America, is a sought-after speaker, and is the author of both The Biological Farmer (now available as an updated and expanded second edition), and Advancing Biological Farming. He is the founder of Midwestern BioAg, a consulting and fertility provision company headquartered in Madison Wisconsin.
Gary's consulting has largely been in broad-acre crops and dairy, but the powerful information he offers can be universally transferred to any crop. Gary's analogies between ruminant digestion and soil mineralization helps us understand concepts in biological farming. This talk is sprinkled with fast-paced wisdom, anecdotes, research, and philosophy.
The conversation centered on three topics which are critical to every farm:
- Trace Minerals
- Gary's preferred trace mineral nutrition sources and distribution methods
- A lively discussion on sap, tissue, soil and dairy ration testing
- Using mineral inputs when and where needed, with purpose, based on data
- Nitrogen Management
- Nitrogen management is NOT merely a numbers game
- Digestibility and solubility are the critical considerations in N management
- The use of various nitrogen stabilizers such as polymer coatings, humates and carbohydrates
- The use of S, Mg and Mo to stabilize nitrogen in the soil
- Growing crops without purchased nitrogen
- Removing N availability as a limiting factor by growing N
- A perceived N response which is actually caused by solubilizing carbon and releasing CO2
- The economics of mineral balance in terms of yield bump vs. yield loss
- How to best think about cover crops and their use
Thank you to Gary for joining us twice and hope everyone enjoys the show!
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