Farmers Make Changes For Improved Soil Health
KREX News Room
OLATHE, Colo.- Local farmers are realizing that soil health is much more important than previously thought, and they are working to make some changes. They received a $1.35 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture about two years ago, as well as more money from the DMEA recently.
In addition to improving soil quality, farmers are trying to improve water quality and conserve water.
John Harold, one of the farmers leading these efforts, said, "We got away from soil health when we got cheap fertilizer. People are going to have to figure out is there a better and more economical way in which to farm."
They are working together to make sustainable changes that will last for generations to come.
"My son has decided he wanted to farm, so that was the impetus that I got interested, in that my children wanted to continue," he said.
The farmers want to improve soil health and so much more.
Harold said, "Not only improves water and air quality, but improves the ability of the soil to produce its own nutrients, as well as hold water."
Various methods are being implemented.
"Whether they are overhead sprinklers, which you can see right up here on the corner, or drip irrigation, which are little tubes that go under the ground and you force feed them with water and that waters the plant as the plant needs it," Harold said.
The drip system prevents runoff and conserves 40 to 60 percent water.
Harold also said, "The key is going to be though, proving that we can make things work. Once you do that in the farming community, people start copying."
However, receiving the money necessary to do this will continue to be a factor
"We've got to raise more money because we're going to have to get a soil health specialist to monitor what we're doing, so we can actually show empirical data," he said.
Like waiting for a crop to yield, these farmers will remain patient, as they work for a brighter future.