4R Advocate Spotlight on Joel Erickson & Andrew Kappes

from The Fertilizer Institute | July 22, 2015

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 Farming Better Than Ever Before

 Joel Erickson farms and raises cattle with his father, Don and brother, Mark. They also raise cattle on the 1,500-acre operation. 

He and Andrew Kappes, sales agronomist with South Dakota Wheat Growers, have been working together to ensure 4R best management practices have become operating procedures.

“The 4Rs, advanced genetics and improved farming practices are all parts of our plan to continually improve. Combined, they make for a better running, more sustainable farm,” Erickson says.

Examples of these practices include:

  • No-till and strip-till across the farm
  • South Dakota Wheat Growers MZB precision farming system divides fields into zones based on soil texture, organic matter, salts, elevation and yield potential
  • Soil samples taken from each zone
  • Fertilizer prescriptions are established for each zone to achieve yield goals, avoid fertilizer waste and ensure plants have the right amount of nutrients available
  • Tissue analyses guide foliar applications
  • Cover crops capture nutrients and provide grazing for cattle
  • Incorporates lessons learned from the Conservation Cropping Systems Project, which demonstrates and promotes farming methods that promote soil and water conservation
  • 4Rs, advanced genetics and improved farming practices continue toimprove the overall crop. Yield increases of 20 bu/ac have been observed.

As Erickson hones these practices, his yields continue to increase. These yields and the 4R practices will help make it possible for his son and daughter to return to the farm if they decide to do so.

Check out these advocates in action in our 4R Field Report Video!