Dwight Dial, Calhoun County

Farms: Corn, soybeans, hogs, sheep

Conservation practices used: Cover crops, terraces, grass waterways, no-till, nitrogen stabilizers, bioreactor

Why cover crops? Cover crops are like having mulch in my field. They help with water infiltration and bring the nitrogen back to the surface. Our neighbors utilize the cover crops for their cow-calf operation as well.

Value of conservation: We’ve noticed in the fields where we’ve applied cover crops and other conservation practices that the water on the high ground infiltrates better. The practices slow the water down so we don’t end up losing acres to ponds. Since we started putting in cover crops in 2013, I’ve noticed that when don't pond, we gain crops and we gain the ability to influence the bottom line of our operation.

“Find an area, especially an area that is highly erodible, and start a cover crop there. Look at the difference that it can make in that type of soil by adding organic matter and slowing down soil erosion. As you see the difference, then you will naturally start to expand your cover crop.”

Advice for other farmers: Be patient when trying new things. It takes time to see the results of your work, but I know it’s worth it. I know that the things I’m doing on my farm will benefit my son and his family for years to come.