Home 5 Ag Stories Conservation acres unfazed by heavy spring rains

Conservation acres unfazed by heavy spring rains

Photo by Anna Hastert

Midwest farmers reported ideal planting conditions, following a couple years of excess moisture. Tim Recker, of Arlington, IA, says, “(It’s) amazing what a year brings to the way we farm.

“Last year we started planting corn May 14th This year we were ahead of schedule. Corn and soybeans went into the ground at an amazing pace,” Recker said. ”It was a great year. It was fun this year, especially when we had all (of) these cover crops that we planted late last year that were only two inches tall and then we were planting corn and soybeans into them.”

Recker’s cover crops may have been small, but they sure were mighty. He let them grow after planting this year’s crop. They held up, even under pressure.

“We plant cover crops behind seed corn. The way last fall turned out, we were late in harvest. We were planting (cover crops) in November,” Recker said. “What you see behind us is cover crops put on with fertilizer and spun on at 56 pounds. We vertical tilled the fertilizer and cereal rye, and hoped for the best. Nothing grew last year, and it proved to me we can be successful with cover crops, (in) planting them late. They’re going to grow even though it’s cold, wet, and nasty.”

“I planted the beans into the cover crops. The cover crops were maybe two – three inches tall. Then we had rain, and I let the cover crops grow. I let them grow longer than I (have) let them grow before, and I terminated them a week ago,” Recker said. “My beans are four inches tall, and look great. I think what brought it home to me is that we’ve had two major rains at this site – A three inch rain, which came over the weir (and) a seven inch rain, which was straight over the weir. As I look into those fields, nothing (has) moved. Not only did we get the benefit of the cover crop and water infiltration, but we also held soil and protected this wetland structure.”

Farm broadcaster Anna Hastert caught up with Tim Recker, of Arlington, Iowa. Recker assess cover crop performance. He also talks about his watershed restoration project.

Posted by Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network on Wednesday, June 17, 2020