From the Farm of Gary Zimmer

Dear Farmer/Agribusiness person,
Field Day at Otter Creek is coming soon and what do we have to show you this year? In the past year, many changes have been made to our 1,000-acre operation — we have a lot that’s new in 2015.
The dairy herd grew too large for our facility, so we sold half of our cows early this year. My daughter Sadie bought the remaining herd and manages them here on the farm.

From the Farm of Gary Zimmer

Dear Farmer/Agribusiness person,
My first book, “The Biological Farmer,” came out 15 years ago. Since then, I’ve met hundreds of farmers as I traveled the world in search of innovative biological farming practices and ideas. I’ve spoken with farmers of many different agricultural backgrounds about a variety of topics, including soils, crops, livestock, land, management, and natural resources.
What makes biological farming work? Essentially, support of biological system basics: plant diversity; creating an ideal home for soil life and feeding it well; managing soil, air, and …

From the Farm of Gary Zimmer

Dear Farmer/Agribusiness person,

What a beautiful fall, not only is the weather wonderful but these fall colors are incredible. It’s harvest time of a year I’d call ‘not bad’: it sure had its challenges. There was plenty of water, just delivered at the wrong time in the wrong amount.
My son says we need more “good” land. I say we need to do better with every acre we already have. When our range on alfalfa grass blend hay runs from 4 to over 8 tons/acre …

From the Farm of Gary Zimmer

Dear Farmer/Agribusiness person,
Field Day is coming up soon; the third Tuesday in August this year is the 19th. Also this year we are back to doing a one day, all day event. Field Day is a celebration of biological agriculture and also a time to show you our farm and farming practices. Otter Creek Organic Farm, my family’s farm, has been in operation since the early 90’s or about 20 years ago. When the farm first started (it was a dairy farm), we began experimenting …

From the Farm of Gary Zimmer

Dear Farmer/Agribusiness person,
I think spring is finally getting close—I saw a robin today. They return as normal, despite our cold, late spring. Considering the weather we’ve had the last couple of years, I’m not sure what ‘normal’ is anymore. This winter seemed normal, at least, more like what I remember of winter as a kid here in Wisconsin. Then again, we remember best those cold, hard times. We also didn’t have the nice warm, water proof winter boots and clothing we have today.

From the Farm of Gary Zimmer

Dear Farmer/Agribusiness person,
It seems like a long time has passed since I last sat down to write for the newsletter. Change is the only for certain thing that happens in life. Somehow we always seem to get a crop—this year was certainly better than last. Sure, it didn’t look that way in the beginning of June. It was raining every day (or so it seemed): the corn was not planted, the hay was getting more mature.

From the Farm of Gary Zimmer

Dear Farmer/Agribusiness person,
It’s amazing how well things seem to be doing on the farm this summer. They’re late, I know, and at a few times this growing season I wasn’t so sure that we would have much to harvest. We do get tired of always having to switch to ‘plan B.’
Our field days are coming up (Aug 20 and 21) and we are ready to show and present what we do here on Otter Creek Organic Farm.

From the Farm of Gary Zimmer

Dear Farmer/Agribusiness person,
Spring is here again. Thanks to everyone who attended our winter meetings and visited with us at all the farm shows. We are certainly looking at a large growth in our business.
Now that land costs are so expensive, inputs are really high and prices, too, we as farmers get paid well (unless you’re buying). You can’t afford to let soil fertility be your limiting factor. I heard that over and over again: farmers all over the country are recognizing the situation and …

Do Better on the Land You Have

I recently read a New York Times article on soaring farmland prices. An 80-acre Iowa farm sold on auction for $10,600/acre to the local John Deere dealer/owner. As he said, where else do you go with money? Farmers are not the only ones who make money as farmers do better; our economy will do better, too. We hate paying taxes and always keep investing in our businesses, the perfect plan for America.
So where is that Iowa family who sold that farm going with their money?

From the Farm of Gary Zimmer

Dear Farmer/Agribusiness person,
We are glad to have gotten through the year with enough feed for the cattle. It was not a fun year. Where are we going to go after having experienced the summer of 2012? By July 20, I thought it was over. With no rain in sight, every promise fizzled. We obtained a temporary permit to pump water out of Otter Creek. By the time we got that paperwork done, found the equipment, realized the hassles and found that there were only small …