Tyler Zimmerman and Chris Walberg share their journey towards soil health building practices on their farms. Tyler began learning about no-till practices and their benefits about 5 years ago. Over that time he has found support and many resources as he continues learning and executing soil health practices.
“When you turn the soil up, there’s roots and worms and biology just going on in there that when you walk to the field next to you that has been conventionally tilled and you don’t find any of that….its night and day difference just across the road from one field to the next.” - Tyler Zimmerman
Tyler shared his findings and experiences with his childhood friend, neighbor, and fellow farmer, Chris Walberg. Chris began to slowly “dabble” in no-till after seeing Tyler’s success and quickly found success of his own.
“You have a success that you can keep building on. I guess that was kind of a bit of an eye opener for us, that no-till can work.” Chris Walberg
Tyler found that one of the big challenges to no-till is that it requires a higher “patience level.” You need to be able to wait for the soil to be “the right temperature and dry” where as a neighbor practicing tillage might not need to do the same.
In order to further expand on their no-till practices Chris and Tyler collaborated to buy an air drill together. Both men have observed the soil health movement gain a lot of “momentum in the last few years” and are excited about what the future holds. While not everyone is radically changing their practices to build healthier soils, “they are certainly hearing about it and reading about it.”
Between sharing information, equipment and ideas, Tyler and Chris are looking forward to continuing the expansion of their soil health building efforts. This collaboration and comradery has “made farming fun” for both and will likely continue to do so.
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