Season 3

Restoring Soil Vitality

Episodes 1-6:
Joe Scrimger –
Bio-Systems II

Episode 1

Nitrogen, Water, and the Farm | Length: 7:28

“…nitrogen’s not the issue. It’s putting on too much at one time… even organically, we have to have nitrogen from someplace.” – Joe Scrimger

Joe Scrimger connects the dots between nitrogen use on the farm, soil health and water quality.


Episode 2

Nitrogen Management for Soil Biology | Length: 8:26

“What we try to do in the conventional world is get those farmers to use at least three different sources of nitrogen that release at three different times.” – Joe Scrimger

Joe Scrimger shares how nitrogen applications affect soil biology, including ways to better harness soil life to strengthen your crops.

Episode 3

The Risks of Damaging Soil Life | Length: 8:37

“…it still comes back to the lack of biology in the soil. And once you put the fungicide on to kill the fungal in the plant, most of that goes to the soil and you got less biology and you got more of a problem next year.” – Joe Scrimger

Anything that damages soil biology can stress crop plants and put farms at risk. Joe Scrimger explains.


Episode 4

Low-Till, Biologically-Informed Erosion Control | Length: 12:41

“…there’s a lot of people in the Soil Conservation, and USDA, and some of the new regenerative farmers are suggesting that tillage is the problem. Tillage can be a problem. And we do want to till less. But tillage is not the problem.” – Joe Scrimger

Soil life holds the soil together. Joe Scrimger gives examples of how well functioning soils can produce good crops, resist erosion and runoff, and withstand adverse weather events.

Episode 5

Balancing Soil Biology for Crop Health | Length: 13:32

“…as your soil improves, you actually want to move more to broadleafs. And that brings that fungal balance out. That starts to have a multiplier effect on your building of organic matter, and your water moves better.” – Joe Scrimger

Joe Scrimger on how strategic crop rotation and cover-cropping can enhance the bacterial/fungal balance in the soil and jumpstart the phosphorous system, which improves uptake of many needed minerals.


Episode 6

Soil Building for Hydration, Crops and Nutrition | Length: 16:01

“…there’s all different forms of composting. But if we’re gonna have disease suppression, and if we’re gonna get that high-carbon compost to work in the soil, it has to be composted properly. And if it is, it’s pretty valuable stuff.” – Joe Scrimger

Joe Scrimger describes how introducing and maintaining healthy soil life can help farmers improve hydration and strengthen crop plants, then reminds us it’s all about producing healthy feed and food.

About Joe Scrimger

Joe Scrimger is a longtime farmer and Ag consultant with decades of experience helping farmers strengthen their operations through organic and biologically informed practices. Joe and his wife Kay Scrimger purchased a 160-acre farm in 1972 and began transitioning to organic the following year, eventually expanding to 198 acres and renting another 300 acres. A few years later, Joe launched Bio-Systems, an agricultural consulting and soil testing business that served farms across Michigan and Southwest Ontario for 38 years. more