If you haven’t started no-till farming yet, 2023 is the year to give it a try.  

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Jerry Dove and his wife Mary grow row crops, from corn to soybeans to a bit of rye and some alfalfa, just a few miles east of Janesville, Iowa. Last Wednesday at the Iowa State Fair, the couple was recognized by the Iowa Department of Agriculture with the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award.  

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

We're trying to leave the farm in better shape than we got it, and conservation farming does that for us. 

The Doves have been practicing no-till farming for 22 years. This is an agriculture technique that is used for growing crops or pasture without disturbing the soil. This practice helps decrease erosion from tilling the land, something Jerry is very passionate about.  

If you're farming, and you haven't tried it, you need to try it in 2023; everybody needs to get their feet wet with no-till farming; it's just a no-brainer.  It just- it boggles my mind that people don't at least try it. 

He adds that no-till farming can help improve the quality of your soil, but it's not the only thing he does for soil conservation. 

Tom Manson, 950 KOEL AM Kailey Foster, and Jerry Dove
Tom Manson, 950 KOEL AM Kailey Foster, and Jerry Dove

Along with his no-till farming practices, Jerry uses cover crops to help improve his soil health. When his corn and soybeans “begins to terminate”, cover crops will start growing in their place. He explains that he tries to keep growing activity into November.  

And his efforts don’t end on the farm. Jerry is part of the Bremer Soil Water Conservation District, where he serves as one of the county commissioners. He serves alongside Tom Manson, who also received an Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award. 

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