From the Desk of Gary Zimmer

Using all, or some, of these practices, will take you a long way in dealing with our extreme weather. Adding Rye to your rotation can certainly do that too. What else can you plant after corn/soybean harvest in the upper Midwest? When adding a practice like rye, you have to learn how to manage it. Change always requires knowledge if you want success.

Earn the Right | From the Desk of Gary Zimmer

Here we go again. In your farming career, you have about 40 chances. You could do the same thing every year. Make money, make life easy, and get rich when you sell the farm. But farming is not just about the money and getting rich, it’s also about responsibility and pride. We want to do what’s right for the land, the environment, and the consumer. Obviously, we wouldn’t have to regenerate anything if it was all being done perfectly.

From the Desk of Gary Zimmer

Dear farmers and agriculturalists,
 
I have been at a few events this fall and there sure is a lot of interest in carbon, quality feed/food, and soil regeneration. High fertilizer, especially nitrogen, and chemical prices have also been farmers’ concerns. No-till constantly comes up – it is a practice, not a farming system, that may help or may not lead to improved soil health and sequester carbon. Having said that, why would you till if you don’t have to?

From the Desk of Gary Zimmer

Dear farmers and agriculturalists,
 
It sure seems strange that the corn and bean price can remain so high. If you drive the country, it’s all you see. Does anyone believe the price will stay high forever? The livestock producers and energy makers sure don’t like it. The sad part is the cost of production has gone way up and doesn’t always drop back to where it was when grain prices are reduced.

From the Desk of Gary Zimmer

Regenerative Agriculture: When do you start and how?
Dear farmers and agriculturalists,
It appears we live in a world with a lot of dissatisfied people. How do we determine what is right and what is wrong? The fun in farming, and in life, is to contribute. Contribute to the goal of healthy, mineralized soil by using the best knowledge, common sense, and observed practices to be stewards of the land and grow feed and food that is nutritional, clean and soil-building – that …

Living with Lower Prices and Increased Costs

Let me start with the good news about today’s dairy markets: It’s time to evaluate. That is exactly what my family is doing on our own farm. What expenses can we eliminate or reduce? On most dairy farms, there are things one can do that won’t negatively affect today’s production (or future production) and cow health. But there are also areas where you can’t skimp.
What are the key things we must do to maintain our farms in the future?

From the Desk of Gary Zimmer

It’s a nice sunny March day today. Spring must be right around the corner. Are you ready?

I have spent my career working on soil health, nutrient delivery and quality feeds and foods. Yield is minerals, sunshine and water mixed in a carbon biological base. It’s not about how cheap the nutrient is or how much I add, it’s about uptake, availability, and exchangeability. When this company first started, it was about the source of nutrients and how we delivered them.

Practicing Regenerative Agriculture

As more consumers care about clean air, clean water and clean food and want to buy organic foods more land is being transitioned to organic. Many organic farmers also talk about “regenerative farming”, but what does this mean? Regenerative farming is a system of farming that focuses on healthy, mineral-rich, biologically-diverse soils that grow healthy, mineral-rich food while also improving soils, crops, and the livelihoods of the farmers. A farm can be certified organic just by avoiding prohibited chemical substances, but regenerative organic farmers also do …

From the Desk of Gary Zimmer

I’m sitting at our big table in the farm office this morning looking out at the rain. Two months late, but here it is. We got so dry this fall it was hard to work down the corn stalks after seed corn harvest. Overall our crops are OK, and some are looking really good. We’re now gearing up for a fresh start next spring. We need to put on our fall fertilizers (mostly Midwestern BioAg calcium sources and manures), do fall tillage and plant cover crops …

From the Desk of Gary Zimmer

Farming is an ever-changing and challenging business. By this time of year, crop outcomes are mostly out of our hands. Being organic, operations at Otter Creek Farms are always intense, from planting time all the way up until the window for weed control passes.

In southwestern Wisconsin, organic production got off to a poor start with all the rain and cold. However, the last ten days in May were great, and the crops are looking good.