Tim Smith, Wright County

Farms: Corn and soybeans

Conservation practices used: Cover crops, strip-till

Value of conservation: The cover crops really help protect my soil from washing away and help recycle the nutrients that might otherwise be lost. Strip-tillage helps maintain residue on top of the surface to protect from soil erosion.

Involvement in the Soil Health Partnership (SHP): When I first learned about the SHP, I was very eager to take part in it. Initially, it was 20 farmers across three states. It's up to about 80 farmers across three or four states now. The goal is to measure the soil health benefits of cover crops and to help quantify economic values, yields and changes in soil.

“When I consider the money I spend on different types of insurance to protect my assets, my most important asset as a farmer is my land. I view cover crops as a way to protect that land.”

Advice for other farmers: Once you plant cover crops and become more comfortable with it, it becomes more routine. I would feel uncomfortable not using cover crops now.