Bioreactor to be one of five in nutrient loss project
When Henry County farmer Todd Verheecke decided to start using cover crops five years ago, his motivation was both economic and environmental.
Having seen his corn yields increase by 10-20 bushels per acre following a cover crop, and soil structure begin to improve, last year he decided he wanted to do more to improve water quality.
That desire led to a new project and a field day Sept. 27 with the installation of a woodchip bioreactor on his northwestern Illinois farm.
The cover crops did prevent erosion, improve soil structure and increase yields in corn following soybeans on his no-till corn. This time the effort is more focused to help in the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) and other ecological efforts to improve water quality here and ultimately in the Gulf of Mexico.
Along with IFB, his team grew to include the Illinois chapter of Land Improvement Contractors of America (LICA), USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). All these groups had staff on hand to witness the installation of the woodchip bioreactor. For the full story, click here.
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