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Minnesota farmer says soil health practices helped buffer crops from drought

A farmer in southwest Minnesota credits soil health practices with helping his crop pull through this year’s drought.

Bryan Biegler of Lake Wilson is a strip-till corn and soybean grower who uses cover crops on all his acres.

“Our crops seemed to hold together pretty well through the year even considering how dry it actually was, so we’re hoping it ends up panning out into some extra yield at the end of (harvest).”

He tells Brownfield from planting through August his area received less than seven inches of rain, but more than 10 inches has accumulated in September.

“I think the moisture is going to benefit it somewhat. Our beans still have quite a bit of green left into them, so I think it helped fill the pods out some. And for the corn also it helped put a little test weight onto them and helped finish the corn off.”

The incoming president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Biegler says he’s harvested one corn field damaged by wind and hail that averaged about 156 bushels per-acre.  He’s now into soybeans with yields in the low to mid-50’s. 

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