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Farm name: Lay Farms
Growers: Jason and Misty Lay
Location: Bloomington-Normal, Illinois
2500 acres corn and soybeans
Jason is the third generation in his family to farm this land. After working in the corporate world, Jason had the opportunity to buy out his uncle and began farming full-time in 2003.
Jason primarily uses rye grass, and has also used oats and crimson clover. He currently has 200 acres in cover crops.
What tillage practices do you use, and since what year?
The Lay farm grows a rotation of corn and soybeans. For the last nine years, Jason has utilized strip tillage for his corn acres. He added no-till on soybeans in 2011.
How have you improved your nutrient management?
Increased testing is one of the biggest improvements Jason has made in his farming practices—testing soil and stalk nitrate levels. Jason also uses Variable Rate Technology to precisely target what his soil needs in nutrients and when.
What have you learned as part of the Soil Health Partnership?
“I am personally impressed with the partners that have come together as part of the Soil Health Partnership. Corporate partners, conservation partners and farmers—all working together toward the same goals. I plan on farming for a long while, and we have to be smarter as an industry how we do things. I can help bring about that change by adopting new practices and setting an example for others to follow.”