Maybe you remember the old television show from the early ’80’s, “That’s Incredible!” (Yes, the exclamation point was technically part of the name!) Well, if there was a “That’s Incredible!” channel on YouTube, I want to share with you today a video that would qualify. I learned about this video recently at a workshop on soil health. Of the various things that was talked about, one was the value of earth worms.
I know what you’re probably thinking – “again with the earth worms??” What can I say? They’re valuable and important to the health of soil. Not only that, but as you will see when you check out the YouTube video posted above, earthworms are incredible! As you watch the video closely, I guarantee you will be saying “That’s Incredible!” by the end. The video is part of a presentation given by Ray Archuleta, a Conservation Agronomist at the NRCS East National Technology Center, in Greensboro, North Carolina. The video he shares was filmed at night and is of earthworms taking in the corn stalks from a no-till field. (Once he leaves the nighttime video, he goes back to his lecture, so I won’t hold it against you if you leave the video at that point. But, his subject matter is still interesting as well as important so if you have the time, you just may enjoy watching it to the end.)
Maybe you have never noticed that some fields have evidence of the previous year’s harvest on them. That indicates that either minimum tillage has been done on that field, or more likely, that the field hasn’t been tilled at all. And, therefore there is residue left on the surface of the field. Well, the residue has to be dealt with and the main creature helping to deal with that residue is the earthworm.
Now, even if you knew this about the earthworm, that he is the one to give credit for taking down that residue, you will probably never fully appreciate how hard that little guy works until you see this video. And, when you see the action in this video, you will hopefully come to realize what is so important about conservation tillage – that there are workers helping us out under the surface and we need to let them live and let them do their job.
Now, check out the video, and see if you can watch it without saying, “That’s Incredible!”