Brian Martin farms 35 percent of Martin Row Crops in Centralia, Missouri. He is a fifth-generation farmer on a family farm that once focused on diversified crops and livestock, but now features row crops and a cow-calf operation. Brian entered the partnership in 2003 while still in high school and continues to grow his part of the farm while also providing independent crop consulting services for other farmers.
Brian has 80 acres dedicated to the Soil Health Partnership practices, including no-till corn and soybeans, cover crops like radishes, turnips, rye, wheat, and barley, and a nutrient management plan based on 2.5 acre grids from which soil samples help him determine how to split-apply nitrogen.
“I joined the Soil Health Partnership in 2017 because of my interest and passion for soil conservation and so that we can show that these management practices have a long-term economic benefit to our industry and future generations,” Brian said.
As much as anything, Brian has benefitted by learning from other farmers also in the partnership, best practices and sharing of ideas. He says that some of these practices have improved water infiltration rates and soil porosity on his farm. However, many of the metrics measuring improvement can take many years to change. It is a long-term process.
“Ultimately, I believe it is very important that we share what we’re doing with end-users and consumers as often as possible,” Brian said, “and that we are ever striving to become more efficient and environmentally conservative, as well as sustainable.”