Adam Bierbaum, Cass County

Farms: Corn, soybeans

Conservation practices used: No-till, terraces, grass waterways, buffer strips, cover crops

Benefits of cover crops: We’ve seen a lot of benefits since we added cover crops to our operation in 2013. We are seeing soil health improvements, increased water holding capacity and are controlling erosion. But we are also pleased with how it absorbs the nitrogen and makes it available for next year’s corn crop.

Just try it: You don’t have to plant cover crops on every one of your acres every year. Just try it on a few acres and learn what works best for you. Be patient and keep in mind that every year is different and with each conservation practice there is a learning curve. Start small and see what works and expand from there.

Engaged with protecting the water: Everyone drinks the water and farmers should consider how they are impacting water quality. We need to farm in the most sustainable way possible, which to me means being profitable and protecting our natural resources.

“One of our biggest responsibilities is to conserve and protect the soil. Without the land we have nothing – it’s our most valuable asset.”

Learning from others: One of the greatest benefits of going to Iowa Corn events is meeting people from across the state. I enjoy learning from their successes and challenges and have benefitted greatly by learning what they are doing on their farms to improve soil health and water quality. Applying that knowledge to our farming operation has helped us greatly.

Continuing the legacy: It’s a privilege and responsibility to be part of a century farm. I understand the importance of how I farm this land today impacts it well into the future. I want to implement conservation practices that will keep it productive for generations to come.