“When we first started farming, we typically had to burn down the cover crop ahead of planting. We started learning that there’s a lot of good benefits allowing that cover crop to go as long in the season as we can. Now our operation has switched over. We’re planting into everything green and standing. We’ll terminate after we get done planting. That’s really given us the maximum benefit of building biomass and nitrogen.…” – Russell Hedrick
Though Russell Hedrick of Hickory, North Carolina, has been farming for less than a decade, he’s already made a name for himself as a proponent of regenerative ag practices including planting green, grazing livestock and adding diversity to his cropping rotations. He’s a popular speaker at ag conferences and farm meetings, and in January of 2020 was invited to speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, about his experience working with Indigo Ag on its Terraton Initiative, a program focused on removing a trillion tons of carbon from the atmosphere.
In this episode of the No-Till Farmer podcast series, I caught up with Russell as he finished up a series of talks at farm groups across Wisconsin. In our conversation, Russell talks about how his experience as a young first-generation farmer faced with soil erosion led him on the path to using no-till, cover crops, incorporating livestock, and more. He also shares his thoughts on why farmers should be direct marketing their products, why liquid corn sells better than hard corn, why he’s optimistic about the nascent carbon credits marketplace, and much more!
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Intro Music: Adam Selzer - True North
Interlude Music: Alialujah Choir - Little Picture (Instrumental)