Cover Crop Basics: A Q&A with Gary Zimmer

Midwestern BioAg President Gary Zimmer has planted cover crops on his farm for years. In this Q&A, we sit down with him to learn the basics of cover crop management and the resulting benefits they bring to the farm.
How do I select a cover crop for my farm?
Zimmer: First, identify the purpose for your cover crop. Will it provide nitrogen or scavenge it? Do you want to use it for grazing? How about to build organic matter?

Growing Farm Margins with High-Quality Forages

Ten years ago, Plaetz Dairy came to Midwestern BioAg looking to improve their conventional dairy farm. Farmers Bruce and Sherry were struggling with feed quality, a problem they hoped Midwestern BioAg’s forage program could help them solve.
“Everything we grow is fed to the cows,” Bruce said. “Before switching to BioAg, we spent a lot of money on feed, protein and minerals trying to keep cows healthy. A big problem was that our cows didn’t like their hay.

It’s All About Getting Your Fertility Right

“Profitability.” That’s the most important thing Midwestern BioAg has brought to the Fairibault, MN farming operation of Bryan and Tammy Lips, says Bryan. Balanced soils, good fertility, and diverse rotations including cover crops and green manure crops are among the biological farming tools Bryan has been using for the past eight years on his 450 acres. He raises corn, oats, and alfalfa on a mixture of owned and rented land, with about half of the acres farmed conventionally and half certified organic.