By Elton Robinson
Progressive Farmer Contributing Editor
Robby Bevis didn’t decide to chuck his farm-management plan and get closer to nature on a whim. It took some convincing by friends and finally a commitment to let plants and biology tell him how to manage the crop.
The transformation began back in 2012, when former college friends working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service started telling Bevis about the benefits of cover crops. “They told me about how the biology of the soil worked and how I could make the soil healthy again,” Bevis recalled.
He wasn’t so sure, although he had already adopted no-till for several years — primarily to cut costs. Still, Bevis decided to try cover crops on about 900 acres with the help of a government program that paid all the costs.
He noticed two things. First, farming got even uglier, which didn’t make much of an impression on Bevis.