Why bother changing your tillage system?
That’s the exact question Brent Larson and his family asked themselves about 10 years ago as they considered using a no-till and strip-till system in their Webster County farming operation.
Answer: Fertile topsoil is a finite resources!
“Recreational tillage, especially ahead of soybeans, is depleting our topsoil and organic matter,” stated Larson. “We realized tilling wasn’t helping or necessary. So we switched to no-till soybeans and strip-till for corn about 10 years ago and added cover crops about 8 years ago.”
By reducing their tillage, Larson and his family were able to save time and reduce input costs like fuel, labor and equipment costs. This ultimately has increased net income and puts less money on the line each year.
An additional benefit of their system is the protection from soil erosion, improved soil structure and drainage.
“We want to grow our soil – saving the soil from erosion is the first step. We want to make sure that not only can we farm this land for the next 40+ years, but so can future generations to come. Soil erosion is insidious! It is can be difficult to see, making it easy to ignore in the short term,” commented Larson.
Larson also works as a farm manager for Sunderman Farm Management and shared some parting advice to farmers and landowners, alike.
“Surround yourself with can-do people, not can’t do people. Communication between landowners and tenant is key to protect the soil and implement conservation. Take that first step and bring the topic up in your next conversation. Determine your goals and make a plan to achieve them!”
If you weren’t able to attend this event, there are more opportunities to attend one of our upcoming field days!