Kirk and Tiona Kimble are the fifth generation farming their 2000 acres in Chillicothe, Illinois. They are invested in preserving this family heritage for their three daughters, all of which help on the farm today.
Kirk has used numerous covers and combinations through the years: cereal rye, annual rye, vetch, oats, radishes, sunflowers and sun hemp. He puts a cover crop on every acre.
“I know I have my topsoil and it isn’t washed down the river. It’s a justifiable cost,” he said.
Kirk also practices no-till on every acre. When Kirk began farming, he tried no-till to save money by not purchasing more equipment, and he liked the results. With the big rain events occurring more frequently, Kirk says it just works well on his land for keeping erosion at bay.
He soil tests regularly, and depending on the results, does either variable rate or blanket rate application of nutrients. He does not do fall application of nitrogen.
“I believe in the practices that I have implemented, but the Soil Health Partnership is documenting them scientifically,” said Kirk. “I like seeing what is happening in my soil, year over year, and understanding how I can make it better. I like being part of a group that is promoting soil health and conserving our soil resource.”