Chuck WhiteSpencer, Iowa
Chuck farms near Spencer and is a District 1 Director for the Iowa Soybean Association. His operation in Clay County involves his brother and his son. They've been using strip-till and no-till for more than two decades and cover crops for the last five years.
What are you doing to practice and promote soil and water quality?
We've been using strip-till for corn on my farm operation and no-till for soybeans for about the last 20 years. Recently, we've started to have massive success with cover crops. It's been very beneficial for the health of the soil and I believe that we're just beginning to understand the implication of improved soil health on our farms. I think cover crops are the way to go.
What needs for soil health and water quality do you see in your region/county?
Regionally, we're looking at using cover crops as the base. I think that's going to be very advantageous. We will get the nitrogen sequestered in that cover crop and it won't get back into the water and the tile systems. Improving soil health is going to be our principal goal. And in using strip-till and no-till, you're not letting your soils wash or blow away. The less tillage you do, it makes for better soil quality and a better yield.
What could be done with more public funding for soil and water quality?
There are many places we can invest our money, but we've got to target getting farmers involved. We must bring together farmers who aren't aware of what they can do and visit with other farmers actively using conservation practices. That's how you learn. That's how I've learned everything.