Creating Resilient No-Till Soil

| 4/24/2018 1:30:00 PM

no till soilFarmer and livestock producer Jordan Reimnitz has seen the benefits of going completely no-till on his family farm. By planting cash crops directly into growing cover crops, and grazing and integrating livestock onto his 1500 acres of cropland – he’s achieving his ultimate conservation goals. “Since everything starts at the soil level, building a resilient soil is a big goal of mine,” said Reimnitz, whose operation is located near Corsica. “Whether through wet or dry or cold or hot conditions – I want a soil that can protect me in those situations and be resilient without costing me a crop.”

Reimnitz jointly farms the land with his brother and their father. They grow corn, beans, wheat, hay and alfalfa and have some cattle. Reimnitz says his focus has always been conservation. “I want to improve things long-term, for my legacy…if it’s not for one of my kids, hopefully it’s someone who has the same philosophy about the soil that I do,” he said.

Cover Crops & Planting Green

His father had started the no-till practices on land that had previously been tilled. “I kind of picked up from there and wanted to take it to the next level when I started farming the land,” said Reimnitz. But whenever he looked at those no-till fields, they just looked like they needed something else, but he couldn’t pinpoint it.

Planting cover crops made all the difference. By keeping plants growing throughout the year, the structure of the soil stayed intact. “We know that there’s so many living things there in the soil, and when you go out and dig the living cover, it just looks alive,” he said.

On their operation, the cover crops have decreased erosion and increased water management. “We’ve had some big rains in the spring the last few years and cover crops have certainly shined in that situation,” he said. “This year, over 90 percent of my acres have a cover on them.”

For the past several years, Reimnitz has also been planting primary cash crops into actively growing cover crops – also known as “planting green”.

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