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Soil Sense

90 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


Transitioning the Farm to the Next Generation with Kari Olson

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 though that doesn’t make their operation unique enough, Kari Olson is a young female farmer who got the opportunity to farm her own ground early on shortly after graduation. While some have underestimated her abilities she has proven herself and continues to expand and learn all she can from her dad as he transitions the family land to her charge.

Kari has participated in the cafe talks with Dr. Abbey Wick. Because of those discussions she went on to explore different cover crop species, techniques and even saved some of her rye for seed to reduce the risk of added weed populations. She has also recently hired someone to manage cattle grazing her cover crops to enhance the soil health of her fields and increase their organic material.

“We've been soil testing every third year and, you know, watching the rates of nutrients and they’re staying up there. We still have to fertilize, but we're starting to cut back on that. Organic matter isn't decreasing anymore. It's starting to slowly increase.” - Kari Olson

One problem she is trying to mitigate is the temperature of her soils which caused her corn emergence to be off. She attributes this to the residue remaining on the surface and blocking sun exposure. New equipment and new cover crops are all on the horizon to manage this issue.

While she feels they haven’t achieved all the potential they will with their soil health, she has noticed a difference in the soil structure. She found the fields much more consistent and easier to manage. Kari hopes to not only preserve the ground she has been trusted with but to continue to improve it so that future generations will have the opportunities that she was able to find and take advantage of.

This Week on Soil Sense:

  • Meet Kari Olson, a young beginning farmer, who shares her perspective on soil health and the practices her operation uses
  • Explore Kari’s experience with cover crops and no-till
  • Learn about the challenges she has faced and the adjustments she has made

Connect with Soil Sense:

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

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