How One Farm Family is Improving Soil Health

From our July 2018 archives, here are some ideas about adapting practices to fit different operations, and the importance of working with others. Today I have two videos for you from JP and Holly Heber who raise row crops and cattle in east-central South Dakota. They're talking about their no-till and cover crops and how they've managed to improve their soils, increase water holding capacity, and reduce erosion. If you listen closely, they're also telling a story we sometimes overlook - that farming and ranching can mean working with others, and that change isn't a one-size-fits-all, one-and-done thing - it takes adaptation to your land and goals, time, and persistence. JP and Holly got married in 2009, and formed M&H Land, taking over the operation JP and his brother had been running on JP's family's place. They raise cow calf pairs, and background cattle and feed cattle. They also raise corn, soybeans, winter wheat, and food grade oats for Gerber baby food, as well as producing hay, and alfalfa. They wanted to try cover crops, inspired by the idea of bio strip-tilling. But given that their place was Prairie Pothole land, the

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