Investing in Soil Health
Healthy soil means healthy plants and healthy plants mean a strong food supply and a healthy planet. R.D. Offutt Farms is committed to implementing farming practices that maintain and improve soil health. We employ several practices that make our farms more efficient, environmentally friendly and produce better yields.
Crop rotation: Hailed as a farming best practice for to improve soil health, crop rotation offers additional benefits. For decades, R.D. Offutt Farms has worked with neighbors and other family farmers to rotate crops from one year to another. Increasing our average potato growing rotation to once every four years has resulted in higher yields, allowing us to decrease total potato acres grown annually.
Responsible use of crop protectants: Across Minnesota, there is significant variation in soil structure, weather and other factors impacting input decisions. Given all these differences, we believe that the most sustainable way to farm is one field at a time – giving the individual crop what it needs. Using modern soil sampling methodologies and historical data, we apply just the right amount of inputs on crops, and no more. Our long rotation schedule also leads to healthier fields, further reducing inputs. R.D. Offutt Farms manages inputs in accordance with strict regulatory guidelines by Minnesota Department of Agriculture and label requirements established by the Environmental Protection Agency.
More organic fertilizer: Using natural fertilizer adds organic matter to the soil and helps improve water retention and, as a result, our potatoes flourish. For more than 30 years, turkey manure has been used as an organic fertilizer at our Little Falls, Minn. farming location. In recent years, we have more than doubled our use of locally purchased turkey manure.
- Cover crops
- R.D. Offutt Farms' Agronomy Team: Our farms benefit from a dedicated agronomy team - experts in soil management and crop production – who oversee soil and land management, nutrient and water application, pest control and minimizing environmental impacts. Led by Nick David, Midwest Regional Agronomist, our agronomists have more than 60 years of collective experience working on our farms.