A variety of 4R Plus practices are used on Iowa’s landscape. Learn about the practices four farmers from different regions of the state utilize, along with the benefits they see. Through the growing season they share how they achieve their soil health and water quality goals while remaining focused on top-end crop potential.
Doug Adams is a 6th-generation corn and soybean farmer on a mostly flat landscape. He uses a variety of conservation practices to improve soil health. He likes the many benefits that cover crops bring to his farm. He has a prescribed nutrient stewardship plan based on soil and stalk testing to maximize the nutrient use efficiency of his crops.
Curt Mether is a 3rd-generation corn and soybean farmer on the steep to rolling Loess Hills. He farms a variety of soil types – even within fields – and has miles of terraces to slow the water in order to control erosion. His no-till system has improved yield consistency and cover crops help build the health of his soils.
Monona and Harrison Counties
Roger Zylstra is a 2nd-generation corn, soybean and hog farmer. He farms land classified as highly erodible with his son. They utilize a variety of conservation practices to control erosion and protect water quality. Cover crops have multiple benefits. Roger is constantly looking for ways to improve soil health and manage nutrients while maintaining top-end yield potential.
Mark Heckman is a 3rd-generation corn, soybean, cattle and hog farmer. He farms with several family members and says their soil type varies on the flat to rolling ground. A lot of attention is paid to conservation and nutrient stewardship practices to assure the farm's yield curve continues upward in an economically sustainable fashion.
Mark Heckman, Heckman Farms
Click here to ask a 4R Plus Crop Report farmer a question.
Q: For those of us taking prevented plant that have never experimented with cover crops, what advice do you have?