Posted on 03/20/2018 at 12:00 AM by Iowa Corn
West Liberty, Iowa
Corn, soybean, cow-calfoperation
Next up in our “Farmer to Farmer: Let’s talk conservation” series is Muscatine County farmer Mark Heckman. Mark grows corn and soybeans, along with raising cattle as part of a cow-calf operation, and conservation is an integral part of all facets of his farming. Let’s find out more about what’s happening on the Heckman farm.
Q: What conservation practices are in place on your farm and how did you decide to implement them?
A: Our farm employs all types of conservation practices. We have acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), where we have wetland reclamation. We also have a lot of buffer strips, along with turn rows, headlands and terraces. You name it, and we've got it on our farm. One of the reasons that we chose to employ the conservation practices that we have, is so we can pay it forward. Our goal is to keep our soil in place and keep the land in good shape for future generations.
Q: How do your conservation practices work in conjunction with the livestock on your farm?
A: Livestock is not only an integral part of our farming operation, but it plays a key role in our conservation plan as well. We utilize cover crops as a feed source with our cow-calf operation and then apply manure for fertilizer in the fall, and the cover crops help hold the manure right in the root zone.
Q: Why did you join the Soil Health Partnership?
A: We enrolled for two reasons. I wanted to discover more about cover crops and I also wanted to be part of a team that is actually gathering the data first-hand. Iowa Corn and the Soil Health Partnership have been great resources in helping me get my soil health and conservation questions answered.
Learn more about Mark and other Iowa farmers who are doing a great job with conservation on their farms across the state!