Mike Helland | Story County

Mike Helland farms with his son, brother and nephew. They farm corn, soybeans and hogs. They have no-tilled their soybeans for 20 years. Hear about the Helland farming operation from Mike himself:

Q. What water quality practices have you used on your farm?
A. No-till soybeans and cover crops.

Q. Why did you voluntarily adopt these practices?
A. I had a landlord who wanted to try cover crops, my nephew wanted to try grazing cover crops and I felt as a Coop board member, I should be open to trying cover crops. We started planting no-till beans 20 years ago because we wanted to reduce machinery and fuel cost. We tried them and found the yield to be the same or better than conventional tillage.

Q. What, if any, assistance did you receive to incorporate these practices (financial as well as technical)?
A. With no-till we didn't receive any help. With cover crops we have had cost share on most but not all the acres. This year we have about 300 acres in cover crops.

Q. What is your philosophy as it relates to farming and the environment?
A. Ultimately what is good for the environment is good for the farm and what is good for the farm is good for the farmer long term.

Learn more about the history of the Helland family farm.