June 29, 2017

Climate Change, Rain and Water Holding Capacity

I am sitting here at the desk today, well because it is raining once again.  How do these changing weather patterns affect farmers and plants?  The main factor is water holding capacity.  We are seeing chaotic shifts from hot to cold, dry to wet, very wet to even wetter.  A farmer friend said they have had rain 58 out of the last 88 days. That is a lot of rain to handle and the soil can hold only so much.  In the case of over farmer, row crops, the soil cannot hold water and it runs off with tremendous force.  Taking with it the precious top soil to go down river into the oceans.

What can you do about it?

Its simple,  To increase the water holding capacity of our soils we need to add organic matter.  Our Compost X product has been shown to hold at least 100% of its volume in water, but I personally believe is is higher. It holds the water in the soil for longer, letting your plants have a reservoir in the soil. This allow the plants to survive the extended dry spells we will see later in July and August.  Remember that water is our most precious resource an we must protect it.  To do this we must hold the water were is needed the most, in the soil.

You can also facilitate the increase in soil organic matter with

  • Use of cover crops
  • Change to conservation tillage practices, for example no-till or minimal tillage
  • Adding manure

Soil Organic Matter is the key to helping battle climate change.  Not only are you improving your soils, but you are also improving the environment by capturing carbon in the soil.  This carbon sequestration on a large scale is a key to battling the conditions that exist currently.

How can you help?

You can start by not throwing organic matter into the landfill.  This starts with composting and managing your organic matter.  If you can’t compost at home, find a local composter that can take your materials.  Big Red Worms has a Community Composting Initiative to allow for more families to compost.  We encourage folks in Lincoln to participate, and for people in other areas, start a compost pile at home.