Butler County Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner Jim Lindaman is leading by example on his family’s Century Farm by implementing cover crops, no-tillage, grassed waterways, terraces and buffer strips. Lindaman started no-tilling in the early 1990s when he introduced soybeans to his crop rotation as a way to keep the soil in the field.
“It’s really not that hard to get started with no-till. The key is really to have everything in good shape,” Lindaman commented. “I had a John Deere 7000 planter and the main change I made was adding row cleaners.” He has continued to use no-till because it saves him time and energy.
In 2013, Lindaman added cover crops to his operation. Before harvest, he aerially seeds his acres with oats and radishes. He has observed reduced soil erosion even in his no-tillage system, especially on the hills and trusts that the cover crops are working to improve the health of his soil.
When he started, only a few neighbors in the area were using cover crops and his green fields caught some by surprise. He chuckled, “Somebody was wondering what was wrong with my field after I combined my beans. It was all green.”
Jim Lindaman was featured in the Iowa Learning Farms How-to video series, “From Gully to Grass: Implementing Grassed Waterways.” He also hosted an Iowa Learning Farms field day on his farm in November 2017.