Till

Till

Photo by Douglas Gayeton

Till

Location: John's Field, Haxturn, CO
Featuring: John Heerman

Dryland farmers in the high plains like John Heerman build healthy soil by using no till practices and growing a diversity of plants, including cover crops.

While the typical wheat-fallow farming practices in this region result in one crop every two years, a new breed of dryland farmers experiments by growing a diverse mix of crops throughout the year. Instead of rotating between wheat and fallow, John incorporates cover crops into his rotation. They include kale, forage collards, grazing corn, cow peas, soybeans and vetch. When coupled with no-till practices, these farmers see benefits from a healthier soil ecosystem, one that captures and retains water, suppresses disease and pests, cycles nutrients, improves soil structure, and filters pollutants. Meanwhile, John’s neighbor tills his soil to control weeds, then leaves his soil bare for 14 months after each wheat harvest to recharge it’s store of water (absence of living plants in the soil means less for soil organisms to feed on).

Add your thoughts to this conversation

Log in or register to post comments

Posts nearby

Location: Cole's Farm, CO Featuring: Cole Mertens, Dryland Farmer In Eastern Colorado, dryland farmers are introducing new practices that preserve top soil, conserve soil moisture, and build soil... Read more
By The Producer, Sep 18
1 follower
The mobile meat processing unit houses a USDA certified slaughterhouse inside a trailer, allowing for shorter distance and time from pasture to slaughterhouse for animals. A USDA inspector visits on... Read more
By The Relocalizer, Oct 16
Location: Curt Sayles's Farm Featuring: Curt Styles... Read more
By The Producer, Sep 18
1 follower