Fourth-generation maize and soy farmer Jack Boyer is Field to Market’s Farmer of the Year 2020, honored for his commitment to continuous improvement in soil health.
Jack says that applying his agricultural engineering training to farming practices has paid dividends, helping save his crops from the devastating derecho windstorm that swept through Iowa in August 2020.
When his maize remained standing while surrounding fields of maize went down, Jack approached Iowa State University to try to understand the reasons why. The analysis indicated that Jack’s efforts to improve soil health on his farm was a significant factor in his crops surviving.
“It was the researchers’ judgment that our resilience was due to our practices like no-till and cover crops, which allows the soil to have a better structure,” says Jack. “Having that soil health and soil structure was a benefit that allowed me to have less damage from the derecho than some of my neighbors did.”