If you talk to anyone who is into regenerative practices in farming, they will all tell you that there is a lot to learn and that you are never done learning how to do things better. It took decades to develop a farm to conventional practices, so don’t expect the changes to happen overnight. Many times, these farmers want you to learn from their mistakes, so you don’t repeat them. They are a wealth of knowledge. What’s even better is when you have a support structure for regenerative rookies and veterans alike.
In this spirit, Truterra and WinField united held their first regenerative soil field day in Vincent, Iowa. It was a chance for farmers, Ag retailers, and Consumer Package Good companies to check out new practices, and further their education on what they can do more efficiently. Producers came from all over the Midwest, and even as far as Tennessee to further their education.
Kelly Garrett is with Truterra and Xtreme Ag. He talks about the way his opinion of regenerative agriculture since he started considering it, and how their practices have evolved after they have seen the results they are getting.
When you are looking at cover crops in Iowa, you will likely hear about cereal rye. Garrett says that while this is a very good place to start, there is so much more you can do to build on the solid base that cereal rye gives you in your cover crop strategy. You can customize your plantings to fit your soil’s needs in any given year.
When you look at the efforts in regenerative ag, they probably don’t look much different than what you may have seen the generations before you doing on the farm. That is because it is essentially that classic way of farming, but with the addition of new technology. While growing corn and soybeans at nauseum to maximize your profit is okay, that mindset can take a toll n the soil that you are going to pass on to the next generation. Garrett comments on this practice.
You can see more coverage of the field day in last Friday’s Ag Matters PM.