Conservation efforts likely supporting better wheat harvest

This was the first year Zwerk and Sons Farm no-tilled all its wheat acres and the yield monitor is capturing the change.

Jeff Schluckbier, who farms with his two cousins, tells Brownfield harvest has been running for about two weeks.

“We’ve seen some of the best yields we’ve had in a while,” he shares.  We were extremely dry, but having said that, we’re still seeing some pretty nice yields.”

Schluckbier says he was prepared for much lower yields after extreme heat during flowering and a very dry June.

“We probably planted our dry beans as deep as we’ve ever planted them to get them into moisture and then starting around July, the rains came back,” he says.  “We’re very happy, our crops look extremely nice for the dry spring we’ve had.”

The farm is participating in the Sustainable Option Wheat program piloted by Star of the West Milling Company and the Nature Conservancy which encourages farmers to implement sustainable practices across the Saginaw Bay region.

Schluckbier says next year he plans to use variable rate technology to apply nitrogen to wheat to improve nutrient management.

Zwerk and Sons Farm grows 7,500 acres of corn, dry beans, sugarbeets, and wheat across Tuscola and Sanilac Counties.

The farm was a stop on the recent Conservation Tour in Action across the region.

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