Seventh generation farmer adopts cover crops ahead of ’23 season
A northern Illinois farmer is working with cover crops for the first time.
Ryan Frieders of Waterman in DeKalb County tells Brownfield he had an aerial applicator plant oats into his soybeans about three weeks before harvest last fall.
“Over the winter the oats absorbed some of the nutrients in the soil and held them there better than if the ground was unprotected. It also helped with some water erosion just having more plant mass protecting the soil from runoff.”
This spring he is going to use a no-till approach and plant directly into the cover crop, which will be a new concept on their farm.
Frieders says he is going to plant cover crops again this year but is planning ahead to avoid some of the challenges he ran into last fall like, “Getting the seed applied and finding the seed to plant in the first place. So, with a little longer lead time getting into the cover crop planting routine earlier I am hoping to have some of those challenges stopped before they get started next fall.”
Frieders says he recently shared his cover crop adoption story with state and federal legislators, who were happy to hear that a seventh-generation farm is still willing to try new practices to benefit conservation.