Advertise Follow Us
I’m not afraid to listen to my kid. My dad, Dale, was a little more skeptical, but then again, skeptical is understandable — especially when it was his living that was on the line when my son, Brad, and I wanted to do a little experimenting.
I had left the family farm and pursued a career in construction. I purchased a small farm near the family farm in 2010 to give my kids the rural experience. While the kids were young, I focused on raising sheep and kids and helped my dad on the farm when I wasn’t building.
When Brad went to South Dakota State University to work on a degree in agronomy, he would come home from on breaks with some interesting ideas about farming. Ideas like no-till and cover crops. When he asked what we thought about cover crops, my response was, “What the heck are cover crops?” In our area, at least at the time, if you didn’t till it and kill it, you weren’t farming.
Despite not knowing about cover crops, it fit with ideals I’d formed in construction. I used materials that were sustainable and fast to regenerate, like Southern yellow pine. I wanted to investigate more.
NAME: Chris Schmidt
LOCATION: Garvin, Minn.
YEARS NO-TILLING: 13
CROPS: Corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, cover crops
ANNUAL PRECIPITATION: 28 inches
PRIMARY SOIL TYPE: Heavy clay loam
LIVESTOCK: Hair sheep, hogs, chickens, turkeys and cattle
Together Brad and I convinced my dad to…