Farmers: Healthy soil means cleaner water

From John Hult, Argus Leader

Mayor calls topsoil waterflow demonstration “one of the most powerful things I’ve ever seen”

How long does it take for the soil to absorb two cups of water?

Ten minutes? An hour? More? Less?

The answer, visitors to Al Miron’s Crooks-area farm learned during a farm tour this week, depends on how the soil is cared for.

Each attendee entered two guesses: One for the untilled soil upon which Miron’s corn crop grows; another for the tilled garden in front of his house he fills with sweet corn and the pumpkins he donates for jack-o-lanterns each October.

In the tilled garden soil, it took nearly six minutes.

In Miron’s field, which hasn’t been tilled for more than two decades, it took 17 seconds.

“I could hardly get the second cup filled up before the first cup was gone,” SDSU extension expert Anthony Bly told the crowd after the second test.

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