Sensible Conservation

Start with grass waterways and buffer strips

FJ 062 F14220Financial health is typically measured in dollars and cents, but that’s not the only standard Bryan Boll uses to evaluate his farm’s well-being. Accruing nutrient-rich soil is just as vital to the future of his operation as hard currency.
In 15 years, the 39-year-old farmer has grown his diversified farm based in the fertile Red River Valley of northwest Minnesota, near Crookston, from 800 acres to 5,000 acres. Crops grown on the farm include corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and edible beans. Almost all of the acreage was enrolled at some point in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which USDA says helps reduce soil erosion nationwide by more than 300 million tons per year.

Bryan Boll uses conservation tillage practices on nearly 75% of his 5,000 crop acres that comprise his Minnesota farm. He estimates savings of $23 per acre using strip-till rather than conventional tillage methods.

Boll is sensitive to the fact that he farms ground pulled from CRP and has implemented minimum tillage, strip-till and no-till on about 75% of his acres. Eventually, he hopes to have close to 100% of the farm in some form of conservation tillage. Read more here