No-till Producer, Mountain View, Oklahoma
Russ Jackson grew up on the family farm in Mountain View, Oklahoma. After graduating high school, he attended Cameron University and Southwestern Oklahoma State University. From an early age he worked alongside his father using conventional heavy tillage on a wide variety of soils. After hitting a wall with a decline in yields and even in fall grazing on wheat pasture he realized pH levels, along with fertility, weren’t the only problems facing the farm.
Fuel price in 2005 was just the nudge he needed to try a different approach, which landed him on No-till. Using No-till stopped soil erosion and led to the first signs that the soil could be repaired. Wanting to continue this healthy process, a transition, in 2013, to double cropping using HRW wheat, HRS wheat, canola, corn, milo, sesame, cotton, and soybeans began. Adding cover crops and grazing cover crops to the operation in 2015 only helped accelerate the process.
The addition of cover crop mixes has added supplemental grazing for cow/calf pairs and stockers while allowing time for the native pastures to rest. By continuing these practices, he has seen multiple benefits to the soil, including water retention, increased organic matter, and earthworm activity.
In the fall of 2017, with the support of the Kiowa County NRCS & OACD, a fall grazing mix demonstration farm project will be planted to experiment with different plant species followed by a county wide field day.
Russ operates the third generation family farm in Southwest Oklahoma with his wife Jani, and their two children Kate and Paden.