Andrew Dupraz says he is seeing an "easy" 10-15% boost in corn yields.
The increase is from cover crops, says the Aurora, S.D., farmer.
"Wet or dry years -- I'm seeing a benefit," he says.
Dupraz's wife, Val, a Natural Resource Conservation Service specialist who has worked in several counties in eastern South Dakota and Iowa, suggested he try cover crops.
Since 2009, they have been planting radishes, turnips, field peas and other species in wheat stubble and planting corn in the field following year. He'll turn the cows out to graze the fall growth on the cover crop if the field is fenced and close to home. In fall, the cover crops continue to grow until its about 20 degrees F at night.
The cover crops improve soil health and their roots drag up nutrients and break up compaction
Planting conditions for corn are excellent following cover crops. The soil is very mellow, Dupraz says.
"I'm real happy with cover crops. We'll continue planting them every chance we get."
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