‘Soil Livestock’ Open the Tap to Increasing No-Till Production

Healthier microbial communities are key for no-tillers to utilize large pools of untapped nutrients underground and increase production without hiking input costs.

Nutrient-based yield theories have served agriculture for more than 150 years, but the problem, some soil scientists say, is those models were created without any concept of soil biology.

But with yields stagnating and soil health declining across much of the globe, soil biology might be the last frontier available to farmers for stabilizing and even growing yields, says Will Brinton, whose company, Woods End Laboratories, has pioneered new soil tests that measure soil biological…

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John dobberstein2

John Dobberstein

John Dobberstein is senior editor of No-Till Farmer magazine and the e-newsletter Dryland No-TillerHe previously covered agriculture for the Tulsa World and worked for daily newspapers in Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Joseph, Mich. He graduated with a B.A. in journalism and political science from Central Michigan University.

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