[permaculture] [SANET-MG] Organic Farming Beats No-Till?] Interesting approach to farming using no till and resource conservation methods.

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lfl at intrex.net
Wed Jul 11 01:40:27 EDT 2007

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [SANET-MG] Organic Farming Beats No-Till?
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2007 00:33:22 -0400
From: Joel Gruver <jgruv at HOTMAIL.COM>

Hello Lawrence,

I respect your deep interest in soil improvement but must admit that we have
very different soil management paradigms.

The central theme in your paradigm seems to be soil creation/transformation
-  through massive amendment (e.g. hundreds of tons of rock dusts and
manures per acre) and mechanical restructuring.

In my soil management paradigm, good management starts with recognizing
opportunities and challenges created by inherent soil properties i.e., soil
properties that naturally change very slowly such as texture, mineralogy,
horizonation and landscape position.

Within this framework, good farmers develop well adapted cropping systems
that harness biological and environmental processes as much as possible to
achieve desireable levels of dynamic soil properties (moisture, pH, nutrient
availability, soil organic matter, aggregation, biological activity...).

Conservation, augmentation and activation are key concepts.

Conservation = maintain natural resource base
Augmentation = correct deficiencies
Activation = stimulate/accelerate natural processes

No-till systems are possible because important tillage objectives (e.g.,
weed control, soil aeration, compaction alleviation, pest and disease cycle
disruption...) can be accomplished by processes other than tillage.

Periodic deep tillage with a Yoeman plow may be very useful in some minimum
tillage cropping systems but seems inherently incompatible with continuous


Joel Gruver
Dept of Agriculture
Western Illinois University
jgruv at hotmail.com

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