Jimmy Emmons doesn’t leave home without a shovel.
He keeps one in every pickup and, on any given day, will stop by one of his fields to dig into the earth.
“I’m constantly looking to see where my soil is at,” the Leedey, Oklahoma, farmer said. That includes counting the numerous earthworms in his rich, carbon-filled soil.
But it wasn’t always that way. There was a time when he couldn’t find an earthworm. Soil and chemicals would run off fields after big rain events. The soil had been mined of nutrients and was badly degraded from four generations of tillage.
Change is never easy, said Emmons, who calls himself a recovering tillage addict.