Farms: Corn, soybeans, cattle
Conservation practices used: No-till, cover crops
Value of conservation: We use cover crops as a feed source and to protect the soil. The cover crops help trap the nutrients in the soil and keep them from heading down stream. We also have much better weed control with the cover crops.
Grazing cover crops: We graze 300 cow/calf pairs on 132 acres of cover crops, only supplementing with mineral. The cows use the dry matter of the corn stalks and the dead edge around the field to balance their diet. We kept them on the cover crops until the third week of May. The cover crops utilize the left-over nutrients from the previous year's crop that's already in the soil.
“The benefits of cover crops are amazing to us, and the dollars were there in the end. It just makes sense.”
Advice for other farmers: Do your homework and talk to people that have made conservation practices work on their farms. On our farm, we've tried multitudes of different cover crops, and we now solely no-till drill cereal rye.
Value of the Iowa Corn membership: Iowa Corn has allowed me the opportunity to see what's out there as far as the different types of agriculture and policy changes that could be coming. Iowa Corn gives me a voice and helps me grow my connections in the agriculture industry.