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STABILITY IS THE goal and what drives nearly every decision on our farm. It can come in many forms. I want stability in yields, stability in soil conditions and, ultimately, stability in our farm’s overall economic health.
Working toward that goal requires a willingness to experiment — something that is not much of a hurdle for our family. My father, Lon, was the head of the oat breeding program at South Dakota State University while also farming until I took over in 2014. I also worked at SDSU as assistant to the state Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program coordinator (30% of my time) and as a research technician (70% of my time).
During my tenure in these roles I had the opportunity to visit many different states to learn about progressive farming practices. Back at SDSU we would run experiments to evaluate those practices for our area. It was one thing to listen and quite another to deploy a practice and carefully observe the progress throughout…