Easter Monday was a windy spring day in many parts of the province. Where I farm, the dirt roads were a dust storm by times. Twenty years ago, more than just the roads would have been blowing. The spring of 1989 following the drought of ’88 was particularly bad. A lot of topsoil moved as producers watched helplessly. Soil piled up like snow banks at the edge of stubble fields. Many practices have changed in the past two decades. Even in the semi-arid brown soil zone there’s a lot less summer fallow and the land that is left fallow typically has weeds controlled by herbicides rather than tillage. When a big portion of the landscape was being tilled three to six times a season, a windy, dry spring could turn the country into a dustbowl. There’s been a virtual revolution in farming practices. The norm now is direct seeding with minimum soil disturbance. The soil is healthier, the air is cleaner, and windy spring days don’t turn the landscape into a serious erosion event. I’m Kevin Hursh.

www.hursh.ca

Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC