Steve Tucker, Jonathan Lundgren and Michael Thompson, pictured from left, take questions about cover crops and soil health from the Farming Evolution audience.

Farming Evolution addresses no-till, cover crops and grazing livestock on cropland

    Diversity, diversity, diversity.
    Crop rotation — not everything is a “weed,” something will eat it.
    Profit being tied to organic matter/diversity.
    These are just some of the most interesting and enlightening things people heard at the Farming Evolution event, Feb. 13-14. The popular no-till/soil health event was held at the Phillips County Event Center. It hosted 158 and 137 people for the two days respectively.
    Those expecting to hear Allen Willams, the Carbon Cowboy, were disappointed to learn he had the flu. Nevertheless, they were enthusiastic about the speakers who filled in on 24 hours’ notice.
    Dr. Jonathan Lundgren, Blue Dasher Farms, challenged the “kill it” mentality and presented evidence of the undesirable results from that approach. He gave plenty of examples of how insects and “weeds” do not harm and even benefit crops.
    Pests come from a lack of diversity, said Lundgren. Additionally, insecticides tend to increase the number of insect pests. Side-by-side comparisons of corn fields without insecticides and conventional fields yielded surprising results. Fields with low insect diversity had more insect pests than fields with lots of insect species.

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