BROKEN BOW—Growing healthier food will lead to healthier people and for farmers such as Clay Govier, that means taking care of the land as best he can.
Brothers Clay and Logan Govier are multi-generational farmers with a corn and soybean operation in east Broken Bow. Together with organizations such as Regenerate Nebraska they hosted a farmer to farmer meeting on August 1 which focused on the benefits of transitioning to regenerative farming practices.
Regenerative farming includes promoting soil health, utilizing more crop rotations, and using fewer synthetic fertilizers and herbicides.
“I think you do things that help soil health and I don’t’ think we realize how much damage we’re doing when we’re applying synthetic fertilizers and herbicides or doing excessive amounts of tillage. I mean everything has their place like we still till sometimes. You still use synthetic fertilizers and herbicides and stuff but through different crop rotations, biodiversity, you can become less reliant on herbicides and fertilizers because the soil can take care of itself,” Clay Govier said.
He added that through using various regenerative ag processes you increase the biology in the soil. Clay Govier told KCNI/KBBN he hopes farmers walked away from last week’s event with some new ideas they can incorporate into their farms and look at their operations from a different point of you. He says farming is both a science and an art and despite regulations and nutrient requirements, there is still room for flexibility.
Nate Belcher with Green Acres Cover Crops echoed the importance of being flexible and added that you need to experiment each year because like it or not, the farming landscape is changing and you do not want to get left behind.
“Not everything you do is going to be a success. We’ve had a lot of failures, but you learn from that every time too, so it’s just important to try,” Govier said.
Experimentation may include trying new crop rotations which could increase the health of the soil, as well as combat unexpected weather events and trade wars. However, Belcher said the bottom line still matters.
“The regenerative component of what we’re doing–it has to pay. We always got to keep that in mind. The financial sustainability is just as big a part of it as the soil health. It’s got to pay,” Belcher said.
To achieve financial sustainability, Belcher asks farmers to work together to increase their value circles and envision a plan for the future of their farms.
The nearly 50 people in attendance enjoyed guest speakers, a locally provided lunch, and drinks as they learned about regenerative ag practices to grow healthier crops while using fewer inputs.