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“I’ve learned a lot more about the science of soil health, specifically, I gained knowledge on nutrient availability, the soil’s microbiome and improving tilth, organic matter and reducing nutrients leaving the field.”
Mueller Farms Inc.
Waverly, Iowa (Southeast)
Acres farmed/livestock: 1800 acres of corn, soybeans, alfalfa and specialty beans
Farm History: Mark represents the 4th generation of Muellers to raise a family and crops on this land. In 2005, Mueller Farms helped establish a dairy farm. Mueller Farms sells the dairy operation silage corn, chopped rye and alfalfa and then utilizes the organic fertilizer produced there.
The Mueller family has been active in various agricultural organizations, and Mark’s father, Howard, was past chairman of both the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and the U.S. Grains Council. Mark serves on various commodity organization committees and has participated in foreign trade missions. He has also been an advisory board member for Top Producer Magazine and submitted articles for publication.
Cover crops: Since 2006, Mueller Farms has used cereal rye and occasionally has also used tillage radishes, hairy vetch and other legumes.
Tillage practices: Starting in 2007, the Muellers went completely no-till, including corn following corn. They were minimum-till prior to that with some fields no-till as early as the late 1990s.
Nutrient management: Mark says he has gradually used less N overall. He did begin using starter fertilizer in 2015. The farm utilizes manure from the dairy and hasn’t applied commercial fertilizers on those fields since 2005.
Why Join the Soil Health Partnership?
“I’ve learned a lot more about the science of soil health,” Mark says. “Specifically, I gained knowledge on nutrient availability, the soil’s microbiome and improving tilth, organic matter and reducing nutrients leaving the field.”