Conservation Acres Yield Early Results

IARN — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Upper Midwest Regional Field Office reports: “Corn planting is virtually complete, while soybean planting moved to 97-percent complete.”

Crop development reached new heights. Corn emergence soared to 97-percent, two weeks ahead of last year and 10 days ahead of the five-year average. Soybean emergence reached 87-percent, also 10 days ahead of average. A northwest Iowa farmer speaks to early season growth.

Matt Bormann, of Algona, Iowa, earlier this week traveled across Iowa’s scenic landscape to assess his crop’s progress. He says, “The crops look pretty good,” and credits their early success to modern conservation practices.

“We’ve been doing strip-till and cover crops, as we’re trying to cut back on tillage and passes across the field,” Bormann said. “We’re seeing, especially after scouting, that it’s paying off in the arena of compaction.”

Bormann further speaks to his strip-till, corn-on-corn acres, where he is seeing phenomenal growth.

“The biggest part of why this works so well is that you don’t have compaction,” Bormann said. “We don’t have a trip with a ripper, field cultivator, or anhydrous bar. You take the strip-till machine, lay those strips, and the corn is free to grow without having equipment smashing it all of the time.”

Bormann admits, “I’m pretty happy with how all of this is working for us.” He sees cover crops and less tillage incorporate as “better ways of farming.” Bormann has reaped multiple benefits from such practices, including the commonly known control of soil erosion and better soil structure.

“It’s enabled us to get across acres in a more timely pattern. I will put the program up against the conventional program, as far as getting into the field sooner. We’re thinking one to two days sooner that we can plant with a cover crop and less tillage, especially if you’re talking rain,” Bormann said.

Bormann challenges others to step outside their comfort zones and incorporate conservation practices, such as cover crops on their operations. He recommends starting small, and will offer additional tips and tricks in Profit Matters on Monday

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.



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