Minnesota Farmer Improves Soil Health With Cover Crops
GOODHUE (AP) - A southeastern Minnesota farmer says putting carbon back into the soil by planting cover crops helps his farm.
Jon Luhman raises beef cows, black beans and corn, plus forage for the cattle on just over 700 acres (283 hectares) at Dry Creek Red Angus farm northwest of Goodhue.
Luhman grows sorghum and then allows his cows to graze on the plants. They eat the top portion of the plant while trampling the lower part into the ground.
Luhman says putting carbon into the soil helps fertility, benefits production and absorbs moisture.
The University of Minnesota Extension says a pound of organic matter _ which is about 58 percent carbon _ can hold up to six pounds of water in the soil.