Brian Crowther of McPherson, Kan., is being recognized for farming practices he began over a decade ago.

Kansas cover crop mix

Early growth of cover crops on the Crowthers’ farm, including corn, radishes and cowpeas. (McPherson Sentinel photo)

He received the No-Till Conservation Award this year, which commends a care for his land that has improved over time.

"We're used to farming degraded soil, and we put more fertilizer on it," Brian said, adding he now saves more money on fertilizer, chemicals and water than he did before. "You got to feel good about that."

people who have been in the same situation, and you learn from them. You've got to keep looking around and see what's next. This is an ever-evolving world, and I don't think I could ever know everything. I think I learn something every day."

Brian received the award because no-till is an example of a farming practice that is becoming more popular, Jonie James, McPherson County agriculture K-State Research and Extension agent, said.

It demonstrates recent research that shows cover crops can benefit the soil and also can be used as a grazing resource when managed well, she said.

"I'm proud to get it," Brian said, who also received a water quality award in 2007. "I think there's a lot of no-tillers in the area that are just as deserving."