Cass County No-till Demonstration Plot
The Cass County SCD is excited to announce, the first of its kind, large scale no-till demonstration farm in Cass County. The 80 acre site, located near Gardner is a large scale demo plot designed to showcase a four crop rotation using no-till farming practices. The farm is intended to be a learning center for area producers and soil health advocates. Cooperating producer, Nick Vinje, has been practicing no-till on his farm for 4 years and is excited to be hosting the area’s first no-till demo. Originally, Vinje began practicing no-till to reduce the amount of labor he had to perform as a one man operation. After time and some noticeable successes, Vinje wanted to get more involved with soil health. He turned to his local NRCS office where he started working with District Conservationist Brent Gustafson and field office staff. Vinje says “NRCS has been a huge help in making the transition, from technical assistance to cost share programs, it has definitely made the transition easier.”
He has expanded his rotation from a wheat, corn and soybean rotation to corn, soybeans, wheat, field peas, winter rye, and sunflowers. Vinje also plants a wide variety of cover crops on his farm, another key ingredient in soil health improvement. Through increasing his crop diversity and cutting out tillage, Nick is not only reducing his labor but improving his soil by increasing soil organic matter, improving water infiltration, and reducing nutrient loss. Vinje hopes the demo site can be a learning opportunity for himself and everyone involved, “We should really be able to get creative with cover crop mixes and crop rotations by having smaller scale test plots to try new ideas, until we find what works best in our area.” For more information on the Cass County no-till demo and upcoming tours please contact the Cass County Soil Conservation District.