As farmers are impatiently waiting for soils to dry out, so they can begin the 2019 planting season, Stu Ellis visits with a soil conservation advocate, who draws crowds of farmers becoming concerned about the health of their soil.
Ray Archuletta is a former staff member of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, but since his retirement, has developed a strong following of his gospel for soil health. Many farmers are beginning to change the way they look at the soil. But why is that?
One word. Failure. We were failing. We knew that we were going broke. For me, it started about 13, 15 years ago. I was an agronomist working for NRCS. I could see that farmers could not bring their sons into their operation. The water wasn’t getting clean. I started asking questions, what did I miss? And through this last 13, 14 year journey I found that we missed one of the most important things, that is biology. And one of the things we weren’t taught in school, where we were taught how to force, control, manipulate, genetically splice, force nature, not to emulate it or work. So we started figuring out, if we work with it, our inputs go down, our yields stay stable, and we can handle the extreme things in climate, and so we can handle the extreme rain, the extreme hot, because now we are emulating the natural system. We missed the mark. I went to school all these years, 8 years of college. I missed it. Its about mimicking the natural system. That’s what sparred this. We were desperate. We were failing.
And Ray Archuletta says farmers are beginning to see that the housewife and consumer is the boss and she wants more natural food production. That is our report from the farm. I’m Stu Ellis with WCIA3 your local news leader.