Building New Topsoil
video synopsis on topsoil by: Joanne A.
Here, Brian and Darren explain how to build new topsoil as one of the farm basics.
NARRATOR: Weather and life both change quickly. Do you have a farm estate plans? You need to learn the best option to help your family avoid or minimize federal state taxes and other costs.
BRIAN SWENSON: I’m Brian Swenson, President of Swenson Investments & Commodities. We work confidentially with farmers, ranchers and advisors, to help develop the best farm estate plan.
During a farm basics (inaudible 0:26), we’re going to talk about how a person can build new topsoil.
SPEAKER 1: How do you do that? It sounds challenging. It can’t be done, can it?
SPEAKER 2: Well here’s one of those things that – when I was a kid and I was in school I learned that topsoil, if it erodes, it’s just a terrible thing because it takes forever, literally forever, to build more topsoil. And that couldn’t be further from the truth. Now, the erosion part was right on the money, you don’t want to have erosion problems at all. But if you have had an erosions problem like I have on some of my ground that I have just picked up here in the last couple of years, how do you fix that? How do you build that topsoil back up? That’s what we want to talk about today.
SPEAKER 1: Okay so, where these all starts is, in a lot of cases, we have hilltops throughout the Unites States and really around the world, hilltops that have been eroded through wind erosion and rainfall erosion, and basically that topsoil’s now gone and so in some cases where either down to the sub-soil or we only have a little bit of topsoil left. Ideally, to raise good crops, we’d like to have at least 8 inches or even a foot of topsoil out there. That would be great. So, how are we going to build that? We’re going to start with raising high residue crops.
SPEAKER 2: Well the importance of high residue crops all comes back to building organic matter in our soils, that’s one of the most important things as you’re trying to build new topsoil. SO the way you could do that is by doing less tillage and raising higher residue crops. So on our farm, for example, we’re raising crops like corn and wheat. They are higher residue crops than a crop like soybeans for example. So you plant more corn and more wheat and leave that root mass intact, we could build up our organic levels in our soil.
SPEAKER 1: Just to give you an example real quick, with corn, it’s said that corn has about 5 times the root mass than soybeans. And what the studies have shown is if you could leave root mass intact, that’s the best overall way to build organic matter. And that would help build topsoil as time goes on. So we want to raise these high residue crops, we’ll do less tillage – less walls to help build that new topsoil that we’re going to create. We’re going to want to add manure because manure not only has a bunch of good nutrients in it; it also has beneficial bacteria and fungi. In addition to that, we’ll probably use some beneficial bacteria and fungi with products like quick roots or biological products we could add to the soil. So you do all these things and over time, you actually can build new topsoil. We’ve seen it even on our own farm, where we’ve been able to build topsoil literally in streaks, especially where we have injected manure deep down into the soil. You can see a different color where we put that manure a few years before. We’ve built new topsoil. And that’s a lot of fun because that topsoil is so much more productive than sub-soil.
SPEAKER 2: It is important that as you build new topsoil, to manage it properly. If there was erosion before on the same hilltops that you’re farming now, you have to change the farming practices that were done on those hilltops to preserve that topsoil. So that means, likely, less tillage going forward. Maybe the roads are going down the hill and you can go across instead, so water doesn’t just run off the hill. It’s not easy to build new topsoil so it does take some concerted effort. But to do it, you have to be conscious of the problems that where there before and solve those as well.
SPEAKER 1: So quite often when we’re talking about topsoil and subsoil, the topsoil is going to have a dark color to it, the sub-soil will, generally speaking, have a lighter color to it. So when you dig away – you have a soil cut away, you dig down in the soil, you can literally see topsoil – darker; sub-soil – less dark or sometimes it’s even bright yellow.
SPEAKER 2: Well it just falls in line with the thinking of the American farmer. You want to try and leave things in better condition than when you got them. So if you can build more topsoil, your soils will be more productive and then as you raise healthy crops, and that residue breaks back down and the nutrients are released back into the soil, you build up the overall fertility in that soil and that’s a good thing for crops going forward.
SPEAKER 1: Yeah, so the farmer who’s trying to build topsoil is going to focus on having good soil ph, good nutrient levels, raising a good crop, having good drainage out there; just every factor possible to raising a good crop and over time, you can build that new topsoil. Now that’s not going to happen overnight, but in a 10 or 20 year period, you can build inches of topsoil.
SPEAKER 2: Well all that is important especially when you’re trying to control our weed of the week. Can you identify this week’s weed?
So, who’s up for the challenge or rebuilding your own topsoil?
This top rate and informative video synopsis on topsoil, is brought to you by:
Peach Country Landscape
Mullica Hill, South Jersey
Peach Country, a top rated building and garden related center in South Jersey, boasts a qualified staff to help on your topsoil project. Check us out online, call us or you should visit our facility in beautiful South Jersey,with any queries related to topsoil or anything else. Peach Country proudly offers and delivers it’s products to most of South Jersey and New Jersey. topsoil south jersey