The latest HAT Soil Health Podcast presented by the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative has dropped at hoosieragtoday.com and Apple Podcasts. In part 1 of this 2-part series, we chat with Indiana farmer Ken Rulon and Keith Berns, owner of Green Cover Seed in Nebraska, about how to explain soil health practices to your ag lender and the economic returns of those soil health practices.
Rulon says before you explain it to your lender, you have to believe in it yourself and present them with a plan.
“I think they really appreciate when you can tie it together with a long-term perspective. So, in our case, some of our lenders have the farmland mortgages and we’re able to show them that we’re increasing our carbon content of the soil. Actually, we’re making their asset worth more long-term, and obviously you’re driving the yields up long-term as you get more carbon in the soil. The science on this is basically unassailable. I mean, it’s just the way it is.”
Rulon says for him, they just discuss the fact that they need to keep the soil that they have.
“We use less fertilizer than everybody else and we have higher available phosphorus than anybody else. We use less potassium than everybody else, so we have higher available potassium, but it’s a long-term response. What we would say is you need to go into this with a bit of a plan. You don’t want to walk in to your loan officer and say, ‘I’m going to switch all 2,000 acres for the first time to a 16-way cover crop mix.’ There are an awful lot of ways to learn from others, do this incrementally, and just adopt some practices that have a positive first-year economic impact.”
Hear more about those positive economic impacts in the HAT Soil Health Podcast, available now at hoosieragtoday.com and on Apple Podcasts.