I’m focused on adding 4R Plus practices that stop erosion and raise the organic matter in the soil to improve crop production and safeguard natural resources now and for future generations.

Roger Wuthrich

Davis County

Farming Operation

  • 2nd-generation family farmer in Davis County in southeast Iowa
  • Farms with son and daughter-in-law, who own cattle
  • Grows corn, soybeans and organic SRW wheat on flat to highly erodible landscape
  • Board member and chairman of grassroots committee, Iowa Corn Growers Association



4R Plus Practices Used

  • No-till as much as possible; tillage limited to weed management on wheat ground
  • Cover crops on organic ground and as many other acres as possible
  • Miles of terraces and waterways
  • Over 20 ponds on farmland
  • Grid soil testing every three to four years determines nutrient rate
  • Variable rate nutrients and split-applied N; stabilizer used

Results Seen

  • No-till, terraces, waterways and cover crops stop erosion
  • Cover crops rebuild organic matter, sequester nutrients and improve weed control
  • No-till and cover crops improve soil structure to support equipment
  • Grazing cover crops provide economical source of feed for cattle
  • Ponds enhance nitrate removal to protect water quality


Plans for the Future

  • Experiment with cover crop mixture and application methods
  • Research biological nitrogen-fixation products
  • Preparing for carbon credits





Click here to ask Roger a question about his farming operation.

Harvest 2020: Variable Weather Produced Variable Crop

Davis County farmer Roger Wuthrich was hoping to do some experimenting with cover crop mixtures this year, but due to the variable weather his farm endured during the 2020 growing season, he’s just happy the early seeded cover crops have emerged.

“I’ve seen first-hand the soil health benefits that come with cover crops, but unfortunately, we’re not going to get as many acres seeded this year because it’s been too dry, and now harvest is dragging on a bit too long,” he said. “Where the cover crops are established, our weed pressure will be lower, so if we can seed some later, we certainly will.”

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Summer 2020: 4R Plus Practices Show Their Value Amid Varied Weather

Davis County farmer Roger Wuthrich knows every growing season is different, but he dealt with some déjà vu at planting season. He’s battled excess moisture at planting three years running on his southeast Iowa farm, but by late July, the crops needed a drink.

Wuthrich added several conservation practices like cover crops, no-till and terraces to keep the soil from moving on his highly erodible fields and he witnessed the benefits of those practices this spring. He has a unique perspective because he farms a combination of commercial and organic corn, soybeans and wheat.

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Spring 2020: Conservation Practices Absorb Excess Moisture

For two planting seasons in a row, saturated soils have tested Roger Wuthrich’s patience. On his farm in southeast Iowa, the conservation practices that have been used for several years, like no-till, cover crops and miles of terraces and waterways, help absorb excess moisture in case there’s a repeat this spring.

Originally, those practices were put in place to eliminate erosion. “I can’t stand to see soil leave the farm,” he said. “In this part of the country, the soil erodes quickly if you don’t protect it. We’ve put in miles of terraces and after the last couple of years, we’ve had to do a lot of repairs and we’re not quite done with those.”

Wuthrich’s goal is to no-till as many acres as possible because it also improves soil structure, helping him get into the fields sooner.

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