4 General Principles to improve soil health on your farm or ranch

Published 28th January 2022
Pasture and Soil Health and Welfare All Studies

Recently, we shared with you the video of the field day we organized in Arkansas (you can find the article by clicking here). We have decided to create a more detailed article on each guest’s performance as the topics covered are complex but extremely interesting for anyone interested in improving the quality and health of their soils on their farm or ranch.

This week we look at Trevor Greenfield from Rio Nutrition presented some ideas on How to Fast Forward Regenerative Agriculture through the use of Rhyzogreen – a product that fuels the microbes in the soil. Their laser focus on feeding the good bugs in the rumen has eventually led them all the way to the very beginning of the food chain to feed the good bugs in the soil. Trevor shared the tremendous results of focusing on soil health and some of the tools it takes to increase soil health and pasture production. Proven on many different soils and many different plant species, including his wife’s tomatoes!

 

What are the good practices to improve the soil health of your pastures? 

Managing for soil health allows producers to work with the land – not against – to reduce erosion, maximize water infiltration, improve nutrient cycling, save money on inputs, and ultimately improve the resiliency of their working land.

  • Minimize Disturbance

From hooves to plows, soil is disturbed in many ways. While some disturbance is unavoidable, minimizing disturbance events across your operation builds healthier soils.

Limit tillage
Optimize chemical input
Rotate livestock

  • Maximize Soil Cover

As a general rule, soil should be covered whenever possible. You can plant cover crops as part of both grazing and cropland operations.

To maximize soil cover year-round, you can:

Plant cover crops
Use organic mulch
Leave plant residue

  • Develop Biodiversity

Increasing diversity across your operation can break disease cycles, stimulate plant growth, and provide habitat for pollinators and organisms living in your soil.

Plant diverse cover crops
Use diverse crop/grass rotations
Alternate livestock/crops

  • Strengthen the presence of living roots

Living roots reduce soil erosion and provide food for organisms like earthworms and microbes that cycle the nutrients your plants need.

Reduce fallow
Plant cover crops
Use diverse crop rotations

 

How Rhyzogreen can help to boost pasture production while preserving soil health?

Trevor Greenfield explained that Rhyzogreen is a liquid blend of micronutrients that is spread on the leaves of the plant to be driven straight to the soil to ultimately express in the root part of the plant to feed the good bugs. This product is used to stimulate the bugs to feed and help the plants to grow. It works just like inside the rumen of cow: the micro-communities already pre-exists but with a little bit of help, we can maximize how the bugs do good.

Rhyzogreen is a product that helps your grass and your pastures but doesn’t replace good practices. This is all about increasing the nutrient value and resiliency of your pastures. 

Soil health is the bottom of the nutrient cycle that benefits the whole chain. When your animal is grazing, because the plant uptook more nutrients, the cattle are getting more nutrients, which can lead to several benefits such as better gains, better body condition, overall health or increasing caring capacity. 

Having a long-term plan about building soil health or regenerating your soil can decrease dependency on fertilizer and impact positively the performance of forage and livestock, for the next year, the next decade or even the next generation!

 

 

At Hustler, farming sustainably is at the heart of everything we do.

Our belief in sustainable farming practices, in particular natural pasture grass-feeding, underpins our range of world-leading livestock feeding solutions. If you are a farmer or a rancher who is looking at getting into regenerative farming, contact our friendly team today to have a chat about your specific situation and how we can help!