Wednesday, April 8, 2015
In between rain events today, I stopped by the field here at the home farm to take a look at the cover crop wheat. It is beginning to show the effects of Roundup herbicide that was applied week ago, on April 1. The cool and wet weather since then has slowed the herbicide’s work, but finally it is beginning.
Perhaps in another week-or-so, the wheat will be brown and beginning to decompose. The wheat’s extensive root system and the plant material on soil surface will enhance the soil structure and tilth and improve the soil health (a relatively new terminology). The added organic matter helps the permeability of water through the soil profile. Such improvements will reduce water erosion. Although I wish we could say there is no erosion in our fields, I can say that our soil conservation is vastly improved over a decade or two ago. We will continue our efforts to protect the soil as a priceless resource. Simultaneously, we will maintain its productivity. The two choices are not mutually exclusive, but synergistic.
In touring along some of our more distant farm locations today, I could notice the emergence of some winter annual weeds, and some hard-to-control marestail. We certainly hope to get the herbicide applied soon.
The forecast looks like a rainy week, and we simply must continue with patience.