"It is an old saying that ""any fool can farm,"" and this was almost the truth when farming consisted chiefly in reducing the fertility of new, rich land secured at practically no cost from a generous Government. But to restore depleted soils to high productive power in economic systems is no fool's job, for it requires mental as well as muscular energy; and no apologies should be expected from those who necessarily make use of technical terms in the discussion of this technical subject, notwithstanding the common foolish advice that farmers should be given a sort of ""parrot"" instruction in almost baby language instead of established facts and principles in definite and permanent scientific terms. The farmer should be as familiar with the names of the ten essential elements of plant food as he is with the names of his ten nearest neighbors. Safe and permanent systems of soil improvement and preservation may come with intelligence--never with ignorance--on the part of the landowners."
From: The Story of the Soil by Cyril G. Hopkins, Professor of Soils and Crops, University of Illinois, 1910.
How well do you know the soil? If you're a professional farmer, agronomist, or consultant you should know it very well.
Just as you would expect your doctor to know the human body, or your tractor mechanic to understand electrical and hydraulic principles, you as a farmer, should know the soil.
Not knowing the soil and applying the same fertilizers as your neighbors is like taking the same medication your doctor prescribes your neighbor. Not very wise and potentially detrimental.
Planting is nearing and we'll soon be done with spraying. How will you spend your spare time this summer, watching baseball, or fishing? Will you decide that now is the time to really understand plant nutrition and what happens in the soil that creates your lively hood.
Where to start? Try these links.
Many free books available to read online
A number of free books to read online
I will be posting a list of books I am planning on reading this summer on a future blog.
Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!
The Blogronomist is maintained by Craig Dick, head blogronomist and VP of Sales and Marketing. Here you will find a wide array of blog articles from Craig and expert guests on topics related to soil and crop health, farming, and so much more. If it’s not here, ask us!