Linda Poole

NCAT Regenerative Grazing Specialist
We are excited to welcome Susan Bergren and the Bergren Ranch to the Soil for Water Network and Atlas! Clearly, Susan is our kind of people, based on an article about Susan in Modern Farmer which stated:
"Varied root depths bring about soil health by opening up pathways at deeper levels and bringing up nutrients from the earth’s many layers. I loved walking my alfalfa field, and seeing how the cattle had eaten the weeds we used to work so hard to kill. It is my belief that the creed here at Peach Crest Ranch, 'Selective minimization of chemicals' ought to become the motto of any modern ranch."

As a result of the prudent partnership between necessary chemicals and rotational grazing, the soil has become a sponge combatting the biggest threat to the ranch – drought.

Read more at:

Darron Gaus

@Linda Poole I am interested in your thoughts on the "necessary chemicals" that Susan partners with her rotational grazing. With 5 years of vegetable growing, I understand this viewpoint. How can we keep the soil sponge in mind when we do need to apply these "necessary chemicals?" Are there additives to ensure we harm non target species and biology in the soil as little as possible?


When I hear the word chemicals, I always ask what kind. Synthetic, organic, or both? Although there is a spectrum of toxicity, even with OMRI certified products, I like to know what people are putting into the soil. It all just depends on the type of chemical. For example, if technical-grade pyrethroids are being used, one can probably switch to OMRI approved pyrethrins and not lose too much efficacy. In this way, the soil and neighboring humans are exposed to a chemical with less toxicity, but the producer still benefits from its insecticide/herbicide properties.


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