April 17, 2017

Troy Elbert: Ready to Join Our Conservation Conversation?

Acknowledge Mistakes, Learn from other Farmers when Trying out New Practices on Your Farm

“Find someone that you can sit down with and ask what worked well and what hasn’t worked well,” Troy advises.

“I like to hear someone say, ‘here’s what I did wrong’,” he adds. “That grabs my attention because that is someone that is teachable. We’re all learning and looking for ways to improve.”

While he acknowledges that mistakes will come along with starting a new practice, he appreciates the information other farmers have shared with him over the years so that he can prepare and is ready to adjust as necessary.

For example, farmers in his area experience challenges in terminating cover crops when wet conditions make it difficult to get into fields. During those times, he and other farmers have experimented with supplementing more nitrogen alongside the row when planting corn and they have also planted directly into cover crop residue.

Troy believes the crop residue has also helped with weed suppression. “It’s allowed us to actually cut back on a lot of chemicals,” he adds. He has seen diseases such as Sudden Death Syndrome in soybeans have less detrimental effects because of improved soil health.

To join the Conservation Conversation online, follow:
@IAWaterAlliance
@CleanWaterIowa