Cultivation/Production, North America, Smart Farming

Canada: Alberta potato operation heading into unexplored territory with livestock, crop rotation

These days farmers are encouraged to be experimental, and to conduct trials on their own land to see what works best for them. What agronomists may not say is just how nerve-wracking it can be. And that goes double when doing something that has rarely, if ever, been done before, writes Jeff Melchior in a news article for AlbertaFarmer Express.

In the case of Gibbons-area Groot Farms in Alberta, that has meant incorporating livestock and cover crops into a potato operation. “Next year we’re already doing 160 acres (of cover crop), so that’ll be half of our potatoes that will be under a cover crop trial,” said Michael Groot, the fourth generation of a potato operation currently co-owned by his dad Don and uncle Wayne.

A lot of people these days advocate for a return to mixed farming. There’s not much argument that putting annual forages into a rotation and then running cattle can improve organic matter and soil health.

However, for those who just grow crops, the logistics — and unknowns — can be daunting.

Source: AlbertaFarmer Express. Read the full story here
Photo: The century-old Groot farm hasn’t seen cows for a very long time. But an interest in regenerative ag — and a desire to try something new — prompted the family to push the boundaries on their Gibbons- area farm, says Michael Groot. Supplied photo published by AlbertaFarmer Express

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