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IDEAS & ADVICE

A VOICE FOR SOIL HEALTH

Bryan Jorgensen

 

Bryan Jorgensen farms in partnership with his brother Greg, son Nicholas and nephew Cody near Ideal, SD. They grow 12-14 different crops in rotation, with much of what they grow dedicated towards the forage needs of their cattle operation.

 

Ideas and Advice for NOLOs

The landlord's right...

"The landlord has every right to have the land farmed the way he wants, since it’s his property. He should educate himself, first of all, educate himself on soil health. What does it take to get a healthy soil? What practices are out there that we have proven today that will work to help build soil health?  Secondly, if you have a tenant that doesn’t want to employ those, or refuses to even try them, then I suggest you move on and find a different tenant—it’s that simple."

Go to the field...

"I like to take our landlords right out in the field with a spade and show ‘em, let them feel it and smell it, then take them across the road to a conventionally tilled soil or a poorly managed pasture and show ‘em the differences. The light bulbs come on."

Spending less with healthier products...

"Once you get the system in a groove, in sync with Mother Nature, I think you’re going to find you’ll have more money at your disposal to do better things. You’re going to be spending less money on inputs, less money on equipment, you’re going to be doing things in a much more natural manner, and you’re going to see things like fewer pests, fewer weeds, fewer diseases. If we have a biologically active and healthy soil, that handles water and oxygen and nutrients efficiently, that means we can get more productivity out of that acre of soil, with less applied nutrient, which means less money out of our pocket. And, at the end of the day, we’re going to have a healthier product, we’re going to have healthier grain, we’re going to have healthier livestock."

We're all tenants, really...

"I would say a vast majority of the landowners that I deal with as landlords are non-operating type landowners, in other words, they do not operate any of the land resources they own. I think we both  have to think about the children, the grandchildren that have to tend this land. We’ve been on this Earth for a very short amount of time. If you think about it, none of us really own the land—we’re just tenants here. And we have to have the mentality of taking care of it and passing it on to the next generation.