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Soil Sense

89 EpisodesProduced by NDSU ExtensionWebsite

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

26:21

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

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. Phil Faught is in his first year of fully taking over the operation. He had a career in sports medicine before this that allowed him to take time off and farm in the summertime, and for the past four years he has been back on the farm full time.

In today’s episode, we talk about the history of conservation on their farm, their experiences in trying to minimize tillage and keep residue and cover crops on their fields, why they’ve decided to go back to banding fertilizer, and a lot more.


“Farmers have always done the best they can with what they had, whether it be the plow or learning to adopt the use of fertilizers, all of those things. And you do the best with what you can, but when we see erosion, both wind and water, I don't feel as there's any excuse anymore…We have tools to use to keep this going. To keep the land going and keep it healthy. So it's a very dynamic time.” -Mike Faught


Not every farmer in the area is approaching things the same way that Mike and Phil are, but Mike says that’s nothing new. Over the years they’ve been able to connect with other like minded farmers to learn from and share ideas with. Phil says his neighbors are more curious than cynical, and want to know more about what they are doing.


“The traffic ability on the heavy clays, you see that right away, you may not see all the benefits, the worms, the mineralization….And that's probably the thing that most people that are getting started are worried about is I can't go across that field. We were on that field and nobody else was, and we're generally not first. We're not last, but we're not first.” -Phil Faught


This Week on Soil Sense:

  • Meet Mike and Phil Faught are a father/son partnership who farm in Absaraka, North Dakota
  • Explore the journey the Faughts have taken and are taking in improving their soils
  • Discover the introduction of no-till and cover crops to the Faught family operation

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Soil Sense Podcast is hosted by Tim Hammerich of the Future of Agriculture Podcast.

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