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Bob Larson Soil Health Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: November 16, 2018

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I'm Bob Larson. Soil health continues to be a hot topic in agriculture. It's also a top-of-mind matter for researchers at the Washington State University Extension Offices who've run several soil improvement studies on farms across the state.

Many of the studies looked at soil improvement practices like green manure and cover crops, organic amendments like compost, and reduced tillage ...

GRANATSTEIN ... "Essentially, the project we did recently, which overlapped with some previous work, just trying to understand what sorts of changes are happening when growers do use these kinds of practices over time, particularly in the Columbia Basin where historically our perspective has been it's very hard to increase soil organic matter to improve these soils because we live in this very dry environment and the soils tend to be more course textured, at least a lot of them do."

But, Granatstein says their persistence paid off ..

GRANATSTEIN ... "But it turns out, in the comparisons we did, with adjacent fields with and without these kinds of practices, we did see over a 20% increase in soil organic matter. Which was surprising. We didn't think it would be that big. It was statistically significant and so that said, well even in this difficult environment, we can make a difference if we use the right management practices."

Listen tomorrow when he tells us about some of the changes that are now being adopted thanks, in large part, to their soil health research.

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