Bierlein creating a conservation legacy

A Michigan farmer says he finds it exciting to watch the changes planting more cover crops bring.

Wayne Bierlein has been growing cover crops for nearly a decade and tells Brownfield they can provide immediate satisfaction.

“Buckwheat is up in about three days,” he says.  “So, you plant this cover crop, you’ve made that investment, and you want to see results.  When you walk out there three days later, you actually can see little buckwheat! Then you see little radishes, you see the sunflowers.”

The no-till farmer says fields can better absorb heavy rains.

“Water goes down very nicely,” he shares.  “The biggest thing that I like to see is it doesn’t run off. We don’t have to worry so much about washouts into the drainage ditches and stuff because that water isn’t screaming to the ditch. And you can see the white snow in the winter versus the brown snow.”

Bierlein says he’s also been amazed by the wildlife recovery and enjoys seeing pheasants and other animals benefit as well.

The Nature Conservancy in Michigan recently recognized Bierlein with the 2023 Soil Health Hero Conservation Legacy Award.

Bierlein farms 1,500 acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat with his brother in Reese.

Brownfield interviewed Bierlein during the recent Great Lakes Crop Summit.

Photo courtesy of the Nature Conservancy.

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