Regenerative Farmer, Healy, Kansas
Cover Crop West Panel
Ben is a fifth generation farmer in Healy, KS. In 2006 after attending the No-till on the Plains annual conference, and being driven by the need to update equipment, the farm made the switch to one hundred percent no-till. At first no-till was used in a wheat, milo, fallow rotation primarily to conserve moisture in their 18 inch precipitation environment. However, after a few years cover crops were introduced to fill the gap created by full season fallow.
After some tweaks the cover crops proved to be a fantastic addition to the rotation from an agronomic point of view, but Ben knew something was missing. Since the farm had always had a cow herd it was a natural fit to introduce them to the cover crops. The cattle proved to be the
missing link from an economic standpoint, and with an open mind and the willingness to try different classes of cattle they continue to prove a very valuable addition. Convinced the cover crops and animals were to be a large part of the farm's future Ben has now fenced, cross-fenced, and piped water across all the family owned agricultural land so high density grazing can be practiced. Always with an eye on the long-term improvement of the soil, ecology and economics will continue to drive the future of the farm.