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Name: Hayden Guetterman
Location: Bucyrus, Kansas
Farm: Guetterman Brothers Family Farms
Year Joined SHP: 2019
Type of Operation:
Guetterman Brothers Family Farms is a row crop operation with a rotation of soybeans, corn and winter wheat on more than 10,000 acres in Eastern Kansas. They also operate a bonded grain elevator. Hayden returned home from college in 2017 to farm full time and is part of the 5th generation, farming alongside his grandpa, dad, and three uncles.
Views on Soil Health:
Hayden’s grandfather has always been passionate about conservation. He attended a soil conservation banquet in the early 1980s where he heard a representative from Kansas State University talk about no-till. The Guetterman Brothers Family Farms have been 100% no-till ever since.
Their operation takes pride in reducing soil erosion and improving soil life through soil health practices. They continue to learn and apply practices to make the soil more productive for future generations.
Reason for Joining Soil Health Partnership:
Hayden was approached by the Kansas Corn Association about joining the Soil Health Partnership. He thought the opportunity to begin state-specific research was intriguing and wanted to be a part of the study.
Hayden feels SHP is a good program to find out data specific to their farm and if the recommended practices would be beneficial to their farming operation. The Guettermans have always tried to be on the cutting edge of soil health practices, but have not been able to do much on-farm research. SHP’s ability to help them collect and analyze data saves them time and helps them make informed decisions about their soil health practices.
The Guettermans joined SHP to gain knowledge, research insights, and assurance that they are performing the right practices in regard to both productivity and the environment. They also look to SHP to help them define soil health success.
Trials Partnered with SHP:
The Guettermans have integrated new cover crop mixtures that include oats, radish, hairy vetch, winter pea, and rapeseed with a little bit of rye. They interseed rye mix between corn and beans.
Hayden reports they are experimenting with cover crop trials to see how quickly they can improve soil organic matter and soil biology.
Other Soil Health Practices Being Implemented:
They have experimented with using a high clearance sprayer to interseed into standing crops before harvest. They are also testing earlier establishment of cover crops and new cover crop mixes.
Advantages Experienced Using New Soil Health Practices:
In terms of cover crops, they have observed increased organic matter, more earthworm activity, and the soil’s ability to hold moisture longer during dry spells.