Missouri farmer Kenny Reichert says there are lots of farmers who’ve been doing cover crops longer than he has, so he was very humbled by the award he received from NACD for being a national conservation leader. He says everywhere he goes, “People are asking questions, they want to know what you’re doing, how it’s working, what they can do. It doesn’t matter who the farmer is, whether he’s in the hills or in the river bottoms or whatever, they’re interested in what’s going on.”
Reichert, who farms near Brunswick in central Missouri’s Chariton County, has been doing no-till in corn and soybeans for 30 years. He began doing cover crops about two years ago.
“I believe this is the same thing my grandfather was doing back when he was farming only now we have the research and the technology to understand why it worked,” Reichert tells Brownfield Ag News.
And work it has, especially last year, says Reichert, “For one thing, the drought last year — we survived that a little better because of the moisture that was kept in the ground, the cooler temperatures. We’re doing a little digging out there, too, and finding out the soil structure is changing (for the better).”
An immediate, noticeable impact, he says, was how cover crops reduced waterhemp pressure. Reichert, who is chair of the Chariton County Soil and Water Conservation District Board, helped implement a pilot cost-share program for cover crops in his county. Reichert was given the Olin Sims Conservation Leadership Award at the National Association of Conservation Districts annual conference in San Antonio.