Soil School: Improving soil for the next generation

The McBlain family farm, located southeast of Brantford in Ontario’s Brant County, hasn’t seen a plow in a generation.

Tyler McBlain’s grandfather started no-tilling back in the 1980s. Since that time the farm has gradually moved to a no-till system for soybeans and wheat while all corn is now produced in a strip till system. Today, Tyler and his father, Barry, continue the family’s focus on soil heath as they look for ways to improve their predominantly heavy clay soil for the next McBlain generation of farmers.

On this episode of RealAgriculture’s Soil School, McBlain explains that his approach to soil health focuses on regeneration — he wants to improve the soil rather that just sustain it. The commitment to soil health that was sparked by his grandfather has already paid dividends. In 2016, the McBlain’s averaged 160 bu/ac on wheat acres with the yield monitor hitting 240 bushels in parts of their wheat crop.

But there’s more work to do, McBlain says. In the video, he shares how his family continues their efforts to maintain diverse rotations, minimize tillage and expand their use of cover crops.

Click here for more Soil School episodes.

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