Why Are Southern Minnesota Farmers Burying Their Underwear?
Farmers plant many things throughout Southern Minnesota. Primarily it is corn and soybeans, sometimes it is hay, or hops, or even perhaps tomatoes. But why on Earth are Southern Minnesota farmers planting their underwear? It might have a funny name in "Soil Your Undies", but it served a serious purpose as a learning tool.
In July, farmers dug holes in their corn and soybean fields and then dropped in pairs of cotton underwear. After a few months, they checked back to see how well the briefs decomposed.
According to Minnesota Public Radio News, most of Monday's event focused on other signs of soil health, like evidence of worm activity. But farmers have found burying underwear is a fun way to raise awareness around the importance of soil health.
Most farmers here in southern Minnesota still till their fields, ripping up the soil after the fall harvest and before the snow flies, leaving behind a dark landscape free of plant residue. But there is a movement amongst some in the soil-health fields that suggests that tilling is unnecessary and it makes the soil less healthy.
So what did some of the farmers find when they dug up their underwear? Well, one family that buried 4 pairs found that the pairs they buried in the tilled fields were almost completely intact. The other two pairs were buried in an untilled field and all that was left was the elastic waistband.
You can find out more about the "Soil My Undies Challenge" here!