Ray Gaesser – SARE National Conference on Cover Crops & Soil Health

Ray Gaesser – SARE National Conference on Cover Crops & Soil Health

(gentle music) – My name’s Ray Gaesser,
we’ve been farming here in southwest
Iowa since 1978. Our history here has been, we’ve been no-tilling
almost everything for the last 30 years. And we think it’s
really important to maintain the soil,you know,
to build up organic matter. And we were, been,
I think, successful at controlling erosion and
building that organic matter on our soils for
almost 30 years. But in the last several years we’ve had such
severe rain events and three or four
inches in an hour or eight to ten inches
of rain overnight. In our conservation practices, our no-till, our
waterways, our terraces, just aren’t enough to
handle those kind of events. Our goal is to have a
cover crop on every acre. You know, that might be
five years down the road because it’s just a
learning process for us now. You know, it’s going
to take more time in the fall to get
the cover crop seeded, it’s going to take more
management in the spring to get the cover crops
terminated at the proper time. We farm about 6,000 acres total. About 1,200 this
year is cover crops. We started three years ago
with 200 acres of cover crops. Last year we did
about 1,000 acres and this year we’re 1,200. We’re trying to learn as we
go to see what works best. So in this particular
field is cereal rye and it was planted 10 days ago. So, in one week it was
already up and growing and that’s the
advantage that we see in our climate here in Iowa. Because we have a limited amount of growth between harvest
and the time we freeze off we need something that’s
pretty aggressive we think. The main benefit, the
main concern for us today is conservation
and erosion control but we see the ability
to maybe build up on our soil health and
those are the advantages that we see down
the road as we do continuous cover
crops every year. We think we will build the soil health and make
our yields of our soybeans and corns even
better down the road. I believe that the, I
think it’s something that is really going to grow
because I do believe that we will find
there’s lots of benefits to cover crops in addition
to erosion control and nutrient sequestration, . you know, the soil health things You know we do care about
the land here on our farm and we’re concerned about it and we want to do the
best job that we can to maintain the
health of the soil to maintain the
soil that’s in place all those I think we’ll
find lots of benefits. (gentle music)

One thought on “Ray Gaesser – SARE National Conference on Cover Crops & Soil Health

  1. This is good! He mentioned the cover crop he used, Cereal Rye aka Winter Rye and he talked about the nature of it. Bravo!

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