Home 5 Ag Stories Hertz Farm Management shows farm-owners benefits of cover crops

Hertz Farm Management shows farm-owners benefits of cover crops

Photo Courtesy of Hertz Farm Management

A farm management company is helping farm-owners increase net returns, while ensuring stewardship of the land.

AUDIO: Jim Rebhuhn, Hertz Farm Management

Hertz Farm Management farm-owners saw the benefits of cover crops firsthand, as they moved from a wet fall to the fourth wettest spring on record. Jim Rebhuhn, farm manager with Hertz Farm Management, talks about the advantages of implementing cover crops post-seed corn harvest.

“This spring was especially challenging,” Rebhuhn said. “We had some challenges that not only slowed down planting, but also created challenges in terms of using cover crops. The advantage of utilizing cover crops on seed corn is (the) harvest of seed corn occurs as early as late August and is generally finished by early October. It’s an ideal time to do seeding. There’s enough warm temperatures and rainfall that we’re almost always able to get a good crop established as we move into the balance of the growing season.”

Cover crops are used for various reasons.

The practice, however, proved helpful this spring when it came to excess moisture and runoff.

“It’s been a positive situation for them (farm-owners). They see the benefit of having their farms seeded through the balance of the fall, heading into the spring,” Rebhuhn said. “They’re by their farms on a regular basis, so when they have a heavy rain, they can see the results of improved erosion control. We had a wet fall that moved into the spring as well. As a whole, I think we’re pleased with the results we’re able to see with cover crops on seed corn.”

Oftentimes, we recognize the on-farm benefits of this practice.

However, cover crops play a role off-farm as well.

“One of the things we feel strongly about is soil conservation, and trying to get ahead of some of the issues we’re dealing with,” Rebhuhn said. “That could be not only erosion, but loss of fertility. We read a lot about the deadzone in the Gulf and what we can do as owners and in our case, farm managers working with owners to be able to alleviate some of those issues. Cover crops are a good fit to be able to get ahead of those environmental issues we’re dealing with.”