When he first started no-till practice of his field almost five decades ago, Ohio farmer David Brandt was doing this out of necessity, not for conversation sake. But over time he learned the benefits of no-till and cover crops as soil conservation tools.
“When we began we were losing probably 20-ton soil per acre, and now we’re down to less than one ton of soil loss per acre with the use of our covers.”
Brandt is considered a Pioneer in using voluntary conservation methods. And what lessons he and other producers have learned is the basis of the soil health movement. Four knitted partnerships between producers, researchers, and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service local staff to promote voluntary conservation.
“Our local NRCS and local salt water district they allow us to do things and then share with other farmers in our area. It’s been really important to have those programs to help farmers understand how easy it is to start using no till and cover crop.”