Farms: Corn, soybeans, wheat and cattle
Conservation practices used: Cover crops, terraces, no-till and ponds
Controlling erosion: In this part of southeast Iowa we have rolling, highly erodible land. With the use of cover crops, terraces and conservation tillage methods, we are able to keep the soil where it belongs. All of those practices work together in a system to reduce erosion.
Cover crop benefits: Besides keeping the soil in place, we notice improved weed control in the spring where we’ve incorporated cover crops. We also graze our cattle on the cover crops, which gives us another economic benefit.
“Water quality is important because we drink the water. It’s important for us to use practices that take care of the water.”
Family involvement: There are four generations currently involved in this farming operation. My father still checks in on us, my son is actively involved in the day-to-day decisions and my son-in-law manages our cattle operation. It’s a joy working with everyone and each of us has a set of skills we bring to the table. But there are financial challenges involved and we want to make sure we do the right thing to give the next generation a chance to make a living on this land.
Advice for other farmers: Being a farmer is a big responsibility. We are tasked with feeding the world. In order to do that, we need to take care of the land. If we use the best practices to keep the soil protected and do what we can to protect water quality, then we’ve done our part.