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Soil Sense

103 EpisodesProduced by Tim Hammerich and Abbey Wick, Ph.D. Website

Welcome to the Soil Sense Podcast, where we believe that building healthier soils is not just a prescription, but rather a pursuit. This journey requires collaboration, curiosity, and communication among farmers, agricultural researchers, agronomists, consultants, and extension. You’re going to hear… read more

103 Episodes | 2019 - 2022

Field Check Season Finale: No Such Thing as a One-Size-Fits-All

October 25th, 2022


In this episode we revisit some highlights of the most useful and important information shared through the first fourteen Field Check segments. …

Field Check: Systems Thinking

October 19th, 2022


In this episode you’ll hear from a number of farmers and consultants about their systems-based approach to farming and soil health. Starting with …

Field Check: Residue Management

October 11th, 2022


In this episode we talk about a problem that many farmers run into on their soil health journeys: residue management. But rather than just focus on …

Field Check: Barley and Soil Health

October 3rd, 2022


In this episode we talk about the challenge of getting cover crops implemented in a system, and highlight how barley can be a helpful crop in …

Field Check: Crop Rotation with Mark Huso

September 28th, 2022


In this episode we are back with Mark Huso of Huso Crop Consulting based in Lakota, North Dakota. Mark shares about the value he has found in …

Field Check: Practical Approaches to Soil Health with Mark Huso

September 19th, 2022


In this episode we are joined by Mark Huso of Huso Crop Consulting based in Lakota, North Dakota. After working in ag retail, Mark decided to start …

Field Check: Vetting Biological Inputs

September 12th, 2022


Field testing new products is an important and sometimes overlooked role that agronomists and crop consultants can play. Jason Hanson joins us again …

Field Check: Perennial Cover Crops and Baling

September 2nd, 2022


In this episode we talk about full season and perennial cover crops. These are great options in not only prevent plant situations, but also trying to …

Field Check: Soil Health and Moisture Management with Dr. Lee Briese

August 10th, 2022


In this episode we explore the question of how to improve soil health in fields that are just too wet. From drainage tile to cover crops, Dr. Lee …

Field Check: Building a Soil Health Legacy

August 2nd, 2022


In this episode we explore one of the most wonderful and unique aspects of farming, the ability to leave a real tangible legacy for your children. …

Field Check: Managing Saline Soils with Jason Hanson

July 21st, 2022


In this episode crop consultant Jason Hanson discusses a soil-related issue many farmers have to deal with, salinity. Jason owns Rock and Roll …

Field Check: Cover Crops and Farm Implement Safety

July 13th, 2022


In this episode we “cover” planting cover crops including some of the ways to get cover crops planted and established. We also discuss some really important and often overlooked safety considerations to think about …

Field Check: Every Field is Different with Dr. Lee Briese

July 5th, 2022


Today, we single out one field in particular to see how a crop consultant utilizes soil health principles and practices to improve both profitability …

Field Check: Field Trafficability and Equipment Safety

June 27th, 2022


In this episode, we explore soil management practices that will improve trafficability over time. North Dakota State University Soil Health Extension …

Field Check: The Challenges and Benefits of Reducing Tillage

June 20th, 2022


Jason Hanson, who owns Rock and Roll Agronomy based in Webster, North Dakota joins us to discuss both the benefits and the challenges of reducing …

Agronomy on Ice featuring Jason Hanson, Kyle Okke, Rob Sharkey, Nikki Bylin and Scott Bylin

April 25th, 2022


In February Dr. Abbey Wick and I had the chance to attend a really unique event you may have heard of called Agronomy on Ice. This is an annual event on Devils Lake, North Dakota. Picture several ice houses and hundreds …

Planes, Grains, and Cover Crops with Blaine Kummer

March 18th, 2022


Blaine Kummer farms with his wife and parents south of Fargo in Colfax, North Dakota. They raise corn, soybeans, sugar beets, wheat and occasionally …

Agricultural Career Training with Anissa Hoffman and Chandra Langseth

March 3rd, 2022


In this episode we get a chance to feature one program that is doing incredible work to train the next generation of farmers, agronomists, …

Passing Along Better Soil to the Next Generation with Mike & Phil Faught

February 16th, 2022


Mike and Phil Faught are a father/son partnership who farm in Absaraka, North Dakota. Mike has been working with minimal till and no till since 1980, but he says his father first tried no till as far back as the 1930s. …

Farm and Ranch Safety with Doug Bichler, Angie Johnson and Emily Leier

February 9th, 2022


In this episode you’re going to hear a first hand account of a farm accident. It’s a jarring reminder of how so many tasks on a farm or ranch that seem routine, can be extremely dangerous. Doug Bichler is a rancher from …

The Soil Health Snowball with Jon Bertsch

January 31st, 2022


We have another great episode with a farmer who has been on a journey over the past seven years or so to try to build healthier soils on his farm in Hillsboro, North Dakota. Jon Bertsch is a third generation farmer who …

Barley for Malting Premiums and Soil Health with Dr. Dave Franzen and Anthony Thilmony

January 24th, 2022


One of the things we’ve learned over the years of doing this podcast is that we love episodes that feature both a farmer and a researcher to really capture both the complexity and the practicality of farming and soil …

Sugar Beets and Soil Health with Dan Vagle

December 7th, 2021


We often talk about corn, soybeans, and small grains on this show, but those are far from the only crops focused on improving soil health. This episode is a unique look at sugar beets, and what sugar beet farmers in the …

Disease Management with Andrew Friskop, Ph.D.

November 29th, 2021


This episode focuses on a topic that we haven’t talked about too much before: disease management. Specifically, we’re talking about a couple of diseases in corn and in small grains to be aware of, challenges with …

A Practical Approach to Soil Health with Mark Huso and Scott Huso

November 22nd, 2021


In this episode we are joined by two brothers from Northeast North Dakota who have each been on their own soil health journeys while supporting and pushing each other to keep getting better in farming and agronomy. …

Engaging Food and Beverage Companies with Elizabeth Reaves

November 17th, 2021


One thing we try to stress on this show is that your soil health journey is going to look different from others based on your goals. Those goals may include trafficability, weed suppression, water infiltration, …

Weed Management and Soil Health with Jason Hanson and Joe Ikley

November 9th, 2021


We’re very lucky to have on the show two well-respected agronomic experts to talk about current weed management challenges. They share with us the …

Carbon Economics with Dr. David Archer

November 1st, 2021


In this episode we dive into the economics of carbon credits. Specifically, how should farmers approach the emerging markets that are popping up for …

Catching Carbon with Dr. Caley Gasch and Dr. Mark Liebig

October 25th, 2021


Soil health has been increasingly in the spotlight in recent years, and no topic has been drawing more attention than the concept of soil carbon. …

A Legacy of Conservation with Bob Radcliffe

October 18th, 2021


We often talk on this show about soil health being a journey. Well today’s guest has been on that journey as a farmer for over 75 years. Bob Radcliffe grew up on a farm near Lennard, North Dakota in the 20s and 30s, …

Soybean Cyst Nematode with Dr. Sam Markell

June 2nd, 2021


In the fourteen years that Dr. Sam Markell has been in his current position as extension plant pathologist at North Dakota State University, he has …

Agronomic Challenges and Soil Health Opportunities with Kyle Okke

May 24th, 2021


On the show today is Kyle Okke, regional agronomist at Winfield United. Most listeners are familiar with Winfield United, the large ag retail network that is part of Land O Lakes, a member-owned cooperative. Kyle is …

Pheasants Forever and Soil Health

May 11th, 2021


This podcast has always been about collaboration and building healthier soils while promoting productivity and profitability at the farm level.  It's …

Soilborne Diseases with Audrey Kalil, Ph.D.

May 3rd, 2021


As with any biological system, there can be good microbes, and there can also be harmful microbes. Crop and soil health is certainly no exception. In …

Integrated Pest Management and Soil Health

April 19th, 2021


An important part of building healthier soils is focusing on the biology living in those soils. This of course includes the microbes in the soil, but …

The Power of Perennials with Clair Keene, Ph.D.

April 13th, 2021


We have a really fascinating episode for you today about incorporating perennials into crop rotations. In the past, we have discussed the many soil health benefits of keeping living roots in the soil year round, …

Manure and Compost for Soil Health

April 5th, 2021


In an effort to build healthier soils, many row crop farmers are caught between wanting the benefits of livestock on their land but also not wanting to enter the livestock business. The decisions are further complicated …

Researching the Tradeoffs of Wide Row Corn

March 29th, 2021


The concept of wide-row corn can seem counterintuitive at first. Why would you make it harder to achieve optimal yields of your primary crop in order …

Low pH Soils with Dr. Mark Liebig and Ryan Buetow

March 17th, 2021


In many cropping systems, the soil is becoming more and more acidic over time. This is happening to some soils quicker than others. A soil with a pH of 5, as an example, is 100 times more acidic than a neutral pH of 7. …

Intercropping and Relay Cropping

March 9th, 2021


The idea of intercropping - or growing two crops at once, has theoretical appeal of creating synergies for pest and disease management, fertility, and overall productivity. But is this really possible in practice? In …

Managing Salinity and Sodicity

March 1st, 2021


Over 90% of producers in North Dakota are experiencing some sort of reduced productivity as a result of salinity. This problem is not unique to North …

Grazing Livestock for Soil Health

February 23rd, 2021


For many farmers on this journey to improve their soil health, incorporating livestock is something they hope to do in the future. This can and will …

Farmer Experiences with Wide Row Corn

February 15th, 2021


60” corn has been a hot topic in many soil health circles. This wider row spacing can allow for greater light penetration and improve the environment for interseeded cover crop growth. We hosted both a farmer panel and …

Cover Crops Research and Strategy

February 9th, 2021


We were able to capture some of the best information out there about soil health at the DIRT Workshop last December thanks to some fantastic speakers and some tremendous audience engagement.Today’s episode focuses on …

What Happens in the Soil When We Reduce Tillage?

February 1st, 2021


The DIRT Workshop was held virtually this past December. Because the event was held virtually we were able to gain access to some great speakers and …

DIRT Workshop Roundup: Strip Tillage, Cover Crops, Relay Crops, and Grazing

December 28th, 2020


This is our final episode of season three. What a great season it has been! To close out season three, we wanted to bring you a highlight reel from …

Interstate Collaboration with Bill Spiegel and Dr. Abbey Wick

December 21st, 2020


Bill Spiegel is on the show today. You may know him as the Crops Editor for Successful Farming Magazine but he is also a farmer and soil health …

Transitioning the Farm to the Next Generation with Kari Olson

December 14th, 2020


While no-till and cover crops are slowly gaining popularity in the area, the Olson operation has been pursuing their practices for 17 years. As …

Bale Grazing with Erin and Drew Gaugler

December 1st, 2020


**Join us virtually at the DIRT Workshop December 8th - 9th:**

Interest continues to rise in incorporating livestock into production systems. Through funding from a SARE grant, brother and sister …

The Importance of Extension with Dr. Greg Lardy

November 23rd, 2020


**Join us virtually at the DIRT Workshop December 8th - 9th:**

Extension has a rich history in keeping producers informed and up to date. Dr. Greg Lardy has seen the growth and expansion of these …

Managing Low pH Soils with Ryan Buetow and Nathan Thomas

November 16th, 2020


**Join us virtually at the DIRT Workshop December 8th - 9th:**

“What can I do to correct low pH in no-till systems in a corn/soybean rotation? Here in southeast South Dakota, we’ve got a lot of …

Cultivating the Right Mindset with Monica McConkey, LPC

November 9th, 2020


**Join us virtually at the DIRT Workshop December 8th - 9th:**

The right mindset isn’t just something you can set and forget.  Farmers that choose to pursue soil health in their practices have …

Strategies for Keeping Living Roots in the Soil with Paul Thomas

November 2nd, 2020


**Join us virtually at the DIRT Workshop December 8th - 9th:**

Finding the best fit for your operation takes consideration, …

Grazing Management with Dr. Miranda Meehan

October 26th, 2020


**Join us virtually at the DIRT Workshop December 8th - 9th:**

Incorporating livestock into your soil health program can seem daunting. Dr. Miranda Meehan is the Livestock Environmental …

Educating the Next Generation with Ag Teacher Whitney Landman

October 19th, 2020


Agriculture teachers are responsible for not only teaching agricultural principles to the youth of today but also for encouraging their experience in …

Rock and Roll Agronomy with Jason Hanson

October 12th, 2020


Agronomists play a significant role in following the progressive research in agronomic practices and assisting farmers in their operations. Jason …

Cover Crops: Science, Practice, and Mindset with Greg Amundson and Greg Endres

October 5th, 2020


We have talked about cover crops a lot on this podcast. Today we speak with both a farmer and an extension agronomist about the decision-making required to introduce cover crops into an operation. Greg Amundson is a 4th …

Interseeding Cover Crops for Livestock Forage with Dr. Marisol Berti and Dr. Yvonne Lawley

September 28th, 2020


Today we focus on interseeding cover crops with forage quality in mind and exciting areas for ongoing research. We are joined by Dr. Marisol Berti, a …

Stories of Soil Health with Gil Gullickson

September 21st, 2020


Gil Gullickson is the Crops Technology Editor at Successful Farming Magazine. Over the last three decades he has reported on agriculture in multiple …

Systems Thinking with Woody Van Arkel and Dr. Lee Briese

September 14th, 2020


Very little in this world is all or none and soil health protocols are no different. There is no one size fits all for every operation. “There’s a …

Field Check: Decades of Soil Health Building Practices

August 31st, 2020


“I’m always curious about the stories behind soil health and how the farmers choose to use these practices. And so I was wondering if someone could …

Field Check: Understanding Soil Biology

August 24th, 2020


“I’ve been farming for 40 years and for the last 4 years we’ve adopted an approach of conservation agriculture and have shifted to no till drilling. …

Field Check: Infiltration During Intense Rain Events

August 17th, 2020


“We’ve been having significant rain events the last couple of years. 2 inches, 3 inches, 5 inches at a time. And I’m just curious, what can I do in my soil health program to ensure that the soil keeps as much rainfall …

Field Check: Managing the Complexities of Adding a New Crop

August 10th, 2020


“How do farmers add more crops in their cropping rotation and manage the complexity of doing that in their farm operation?” - Jocelyn Velsestuk, …

Field Check: Getting Started with Cover Crops

August 3rd, 2020


“I’m getting the question about farmers wanting to plant a cover crop. But it's kind of a generic statement. So I think what they’re really asking is what do I plant and when do I plant? Where do I start? Where do we …

Field Check: Hybrid Rye

July 27th, 2020


“Hybrid small grain varieties seem to be gaining traction in some parts of Canada and the United States. What are the benefits and drawbacks of hybrid rye, wheat and barley varieties?” - Luke Struckman, Researcher and …

Field Check: Fertility for No Till Corn

July 20th, 2020


“What is the best way to get all your fertility down in a no-till corn situation, especially your P and K?” - Kyle Geske, a Farmer from Enderlin, North Dakota

Dr. Dave Franzen, an Extension Soil Specialist at North …

Field Check: The Tradeoffs of Planting Green

July 13th, 2020


“I like seeding soybeans green into growing  winter rye for a variety of reasons. I think trafficability and weed control are much better with 40 or …

Field Check: How to Revive Nutrient-Depleted Forage Ground

July 6th, 2020


“Recently I bought a piece of land that most of it has been hay land for generations. So there’s been a lot of nutrients exported and I’ve been trying to intentionally replace nutrients. I was just wondering what kind …

Field Check: Cutworms in Soybeans Planted Green into Cover Crop

June 29th, 2020


“I heard from a customer the other day about cutworms in a soybean field that was planted green into cereal rye. I was wondering if this is common and do we need to recommend scouting for cutworms or other pests when …

Field Check: Considering Crop Rotation When Selecting Cover Crops

June 22nd, 2020


“I’m looking at cover crop mix to put on some ground that’s going to be seeded to wheat and barley next year. I’m wondering if barley works in that …

Field Check: Cereal Rye for Kochia Control + Dicamba Update

June 15th, 2020


Introducing Soil Sense: Field Check. We find the right expert to answer YOUR questions about anything related to farming, agronomy, and soil health. We invite you to participate at

Today’s question …

Collaborations to Advance Soil Health

June 8th, 2020


Today we review some fascinating examples of advancing soil health. One individual farmer interested in these new practices will find a lot of …

Measuring Soil Quality (Soil Health Dynamic Duo, Part 2)

June 1st, 2020


We are back with Mark Liebig and Susan Samson-Liebig. In case you missed our last episode, they are two leading soil scientists of the USDA.  Mark …

Soil Health Dynamic Duo, Part One: Cover Crops

May 25th, 2020


Mark Liebig and Susan Samson-Liebig are two leading soil scientists that work in two different agencies within the USDA. Also, they just happen to be …

Decades of Soil Health Collaboration

May 18th, 2020


Brad Brummond joined the NDSU extension in 1982 and has been in his current position in Walsh County for 28 years. His body of work allowed him to be …

Soil Health and the City

May 11th, 2020


Today we are joined by Sally Jacobson, Executive Director of the Red River Zoo, and Dr. Abbey Wick, Soil Health Extension Specialist. The unlikely …

A Soil Health Journey from Crops to Cattle

May 4th, 2020


“I hope that we can just do so much more with an acre of land than just grow a crop on it.” -Mike Schaefer

Mike Schaefer farms wheat, barley, corn and soybeans in New Rockford, North Dakota. His farm has been using soil …

Intercropping and Soil Health

April 27th, 2020


Could intercropping be a viable option for large-scale row crop producers? Lana Shaw, Research Manager at the Southeast Research Farm in …

Strip-Till and Cover Crops

April 20th, 2020


Today we are joined by Mark Olson, a farmer in Southeast North Dakota, and Matt Olson, an agronomist with 20 years of experience with Centrol Ag …

Cover Crop Seed Considerations

April 13th, 2020


Today we go back to the beginning of any soil health program - or any crop for that matter - seed. We are joined by Steve Zwinger who is an …

The Value of Livestock to Soil Health

April 6th, 2020


Today we answer a popular question about soil health:. How does the farmer integrate cover crops and livestock? Dr. Kevin Sedivec joins us today to …

Measuring the Impact of Sharing Information about Soil Health

March 30th, 2020


Today we explore the impact of sharing information. Are shared ideas spread the way we think? Jean Haley is responsible for answering that question for soil health at North Dakota State. She is joined by soil health …

Farmers Supporting Each Other to Build Healthier Soils

March 23rd, 2020


Tyler Zimmerman and Chris Walberg share their journey towards soil health building practices on their farms. Tyler began learning about no-till practices and their benefits about 5 years ago. Over that time he has found …

Worms, Water, and Soil Health Research in Action

March 16th, 2020


Today we focus on how agricultural research experiments actually happens in practice.

Nate Derby and Rod Utter are both Research Specialists with …

Soil Science 101 with Dr. Jay Goos

March 9th, 2020


Dr. Jay Goos joins us from the department of soil science at North Dakota State University to share his approach to introducing soil science to his students and his experiences over the last four decades in the field. …

Soil Health Collaboration Between Ag Retail and Extension

March 2nd, 2020


In this episode we focus on the unlikely collaboration between extension and ag retail. Tim Becker joins us as a former county extension agent and …

[Bonus Episode] Decades of Building Soil Health with Joe Breker

October 31st, 2019


Joe Breker has been farming for over 40 years pioneering soil health building practices in southeast North Dakota. With his skills and knowledge, Joe …

SHARE Farm Reflections and Insights

October 24th, 2019


In this episode we explore the SHARE (Soil Health and Agriculture Research Extension) Farm Project. It is a field scale location used to display …

Managing Salts with Allie Slykerman

October 17th, 2019


Today we hear from Allie Slykerman. Allie works as an independent crop consultant at Centrol Ag Consulting. One of the most significant issues faced …

Integrating Cattle and Cover Crops with Luke Ressler

October 10th, 2019


What can integrating livestock do for soil health? Luke Ressler joins us from Hillsboro, North Dakota where he farms with his father-in-law, Randy Lemm, and his wife Elli. Luke was raised on a farm in Cooperstown and …

Soil Physics and Soil Biology with Dr. Aaron Daigh

October 3rd, 2019


Explore the scientific principles forming the foundation of soil health. Dr. Aaron Daigh of North Dakota State University joins us to discuss the impact of movement and distribution of water, heat, and nutrients in the …

Building Soil Health on Your Toughest Field with Doug Toussaint

September 26th, 2019


Doug Toussaint from Wahpeton, North Dakota discusses his shift toward soil health building practices. Doug shares what inspired him to make these …

Salinity & Sodicity Issues with Naeem Kalwar of NDSU Extension

September 19th, 2019


Naeem Kalwar is an extension Soil Health Specialist in the Langdon Research Extension Center. His expertise is shared today in facing sodicity and salinity issues in your soils.

The term salinity refers to the potential …

Improving Soil Health Over Generations with Lee Trautman

September 12th, 2019


Lee Trautman joins us today. Lee farms corn and soybeans in Jamestown, North Dakota with his brother and father. Trautman Farms has been no till for over 20 years giving Lee a unique farming experience of very limited …

Cover Crops with Dr. Marisol Berti

September 5th, 2019


Dr. Marisol Berti spearheads research in the use of cover crops as a professor in the Plant Sciences Department at North Dakota State University. Her …

Taking Off with Soil Health with Matt Nelson

August 29th, 2019


Matt Nelson shares his experiences from his farm in Lakota, North Dakota where they produce small grains, wheat, barley, canola, soybeans, corn and …

Lessons from 20 Years of Crop Consulting with Dr. Lee Briese

August 22nd, 2019


Dr. Lee Briese is a Crop Consultant with Centrol Crop Consulting. He does not sell any products but rather solely focuses on helping farmers make the …

Challenges of Building Soil Health in Cool and Wet Climates with Sam Landman

August 15th, 2019


Sam Landman is a fifth generation farmer who manages not only his family farm but also a SHARE (Soil Health and Agriculture Research Extension) Farm. …

Precision Ag for Healthier Soils with Anthony Thilmony and Dr. Dave Franzen

August 8th, 2019


This is the second installment of a two part interview with Dr. Dave Franzen, a soil scientist at North Dakota State University, and Anthony Thilmony, a fourth generation farmer in the Valley City, North Dakota area. In …

Soil Fertility with Dr. Dave Franzen and Anthony Thilmony

August 1st, 2019


Join us for the first installment of a two-part interview with Dr. Dave Franzen, a Soil Scientist at North Dakota State University in Extension, and Anthony Thilmony, a fourth generation farmer in the Valley City, North …

Soil Health Systems on the Farm

August 1st, 2019


Ride along with fourth generation farmer Tony Wagner in Jamestown, South Dakota. Farming has been a lifelong passion for Tony. He took on his first …

Setting the Stage for Soil Health in North Dakota

July 29th, 2019


Dr. Abbey Wick is an Extension Soil Health Specialist at North Dakota State University. She joins us to share what her role is in promoting soil …

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