AgriTalk
08/08/2019
Season Finale: Generational Perspectives on Farming
For our last episode of the season, we bring you our first live show ever, recorded at Farmfest in Morgan, Minnesota. Zach and Mitchell round out the season by bringing back some pals you heard from in earlier episodes, including their dads. Nathan Johnson and Brian Hora reflect on how their challen
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07/31/2019
Third Crops: Can They Pay?
We know that corn and soybeans are the most economically viable crops we have on farms, at least in the Midwest, and that’s why they dominate the ag systems here. But there are efforts underway to add in a third crop. Third crops can be helpful for breaking up weed cycles, fixing more carbon and nit
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07/24/2019
Cover Crops Part 3: Can They Work Up North?
Field Work host Zach Johnson has tried planting cover crops a few times on his heavy clay soils in Central Minnesota, but has had nothing but failures. In this episode, Ken Franzky, an agronomist with Centrol Crop Consulting, gives Zach some insights into how to try again. Ken tells Zach and Mitchel
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07/17/2019
Beyond the Wind Break: Sustainable Ag at a Community Scale
Many farmers care about soil health, water quality, and about being good neighbors to each other and to people in nearby towns and cities. But sometimes it may feel like what farmers do individually doesn’t make much of a difference. In this episode, Zach and Mitchell talk about what it looks like w
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07/10/2019
Consumers Want Sustainably Grown Food, But Who Pays?
Consumers are demanding more sustainably grown food. So are big food companies. But how willing are they to offset the costs — and the risks — that farmers bear as they change up their practices? Zach and Mitchell talk with Jerry Lynch, the chief sustainability officer at General Mills, about supply
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07/03/2019
Field Work Mini-Vacation
Our production team is taking a break the week of Independence Day. We’ll be back with more great conversations July 10th.
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06/26/2019
Precision Ag: Hype or Hope?
There are a lot of technologies available these days like sensors, geo-mapping, robots, and all sorts of other big data tools. The idea behind them, of course, is to make farming more efficient, and ultimately more profitable. Those technologies can also help growers farm more sustainably. Mitchell
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06/19/2019
Cover Crops Part 2: Recycling Your Nutrient Dollars
Cover crops blanket the soil from the time you harvest one crop until you plant the next. And there’s a long list of benefits they provide: they can replenish soil in between planting, prevent soil erosion, slow water down, pull moisture deeper into the soil, and increase soil organic matter over ti
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06/12/2019
How Can Data Boost Sustainable Ag?
Farmers collect a lot of data on fields, inputs, and yields. But many questions remain about how to use the data and who to share it with. Zach and Mitchell talk to Charles Baron of Farmers Business Network and John McGuire of Simplified Technology Services about what farmers have to gain or lose in
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06/05/2019
Don’t Treat Your Soil Like Dirt
Many farmers have heard the alarming statistic that we’re losing topsoil to erosion about 10 times faster than it can be replenished. We want to keep our soil healthy and intact so we can continue farming and be more resilient in the face of increased severe weather events. In this episode, Zach and
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05/29/2019
Nutrient Management: Find That Nitrogen Sweet Spot
Nutrient management is an art as much as it is a science. And nitrogen, in particular, can be a difficult nutrient to manage. Understanding how it behaves in soil systems can help farmers increase its uptake and minimize nitrogen loss to the environment, where it can pollute water. University of Min
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05/22/2019
Landowners, Lenders and More: How to Get Stakeholders on Board with Change
Sometimes the hurdles to sustainable practices come from people right in a farmer’s network: family, landowners, neighbors, seed dealers, and lenders. Bryan and Lauren Biegler, farmers in Minnesota, join Zach and Mitchell to discuss how they fought back the image of being “hippie farmers” as they st
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05/15/2019
Cover Crops Part 1: What Newbies Should Consider
There are a lot of big questions to consider for farmers interested in trying out cover crops. Perhaps the most important one, according to cover crop coach Steve Groff, is this: what do you want to accomplish? Zach and Mitchell talk with Steve about the benefits of cover crops, the roadblocks to th
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05/08/2019
Drain Tile: Friend or Foe?
We explore the benefits and downsides of drain tile with Rodney Rulon, an Indiana farmer, and Matt Helmers, the director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University. Drain tiles dry out and warm up fields, boost productivity, and extend growing seasons, which can make them importan
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05/01/2019
Meet Zach and Mitchell
In this episode, you’ll learn about our hosts and what drives their interest in sustainable agriculture. Zach Johnson, a farmer near Alexandria, Minnesota, also hosts the popular MN Millennial Farmer series on YouTube. Zach’s experiments with cover crops and conservation tillage have been a “disaste
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05/01/2019
Conservation Tillage: Should Zach's "Friend" Give It a Try?
Conservation tillage can provide a lot of benefits. It increases water filtration, reduces erosion, and improves soil productivity. But some farmers worry about weed control challenges and lower yields. University of Minnesota extension specialist Jodi DeJong-Hughes joins Zach and Mitchell to talk a
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04/09/2019
Coming Soon: Field Work
Field Work is a podcast that showcases frank, realistic discussions about the benefits and challenges of adopting sustainable ag practices. It’s hosted by two commercial row crop farmers, Zach Johnson and Mitchell Hora. They’re two guys who believe farming needs to become more sustainable but know f
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