ANIMALS DON’T LIE
The ultimate test for plant quality or acceptability is to feed it to an animal. Essentially, an animal doesn’t care if you produced 40 bushels/acre or 400 bushels/acre…it just wants to be fed. However, total yield is not sufficient and is a poor indicator of nutritive value (9). Instead, the goal is to create a highly nutritious plant (e.g., sugars, amino acids, fiber, micronutrients, calcium, etc.) that is easily digestible and 100% available. If a crop is poor in quality, it might take more food to satisfy the nutritional needs of the animal. Conversely, if the plant is fortified with essential elements, the animal would get more out of eating less!READ MORE
THE CYCLE CONTINUES
Animals also give back to the soil, thus completing the nutrient cycle. In many production systems, crop yield benefits from manure application because it increases plant nutrient availability and it improves soil structure (8). Essentially, you are what you eat…what goes into the soil, goes into the plant, and goes into the animal also goes into you!READ MORE
BEYOND THE FIELD
Diversifying your farming operation
is key to sustainable production, you are what you eat
We find that our Earthsoils Stewards think more broadly about their impacts on the Earth. All living things are connected and play a role in maintaining a healthy food production system, from corn to bees and everything between! Our attitude towards the soil, plants, and animals is reflected in reflected in our “bottom line” and the legacy we leave our children–the land.