DOOR COUNTY, Wis.— Brey Cycle Farm spent the last handful of years implementing several new methods of farming that keep conservation in mind.
Jacob Brey put a shovel into the ground on his field to examine the soil, as he reflected on his environmental mission.
The Sturgeon Bay farmer decided to be more environmentally conscious when growing crop and raising dairy cows and beef cattle.
The mindset came a few years ago.
“The worms are all starting to get to work, which means the soil is kind of alive and living,” Brey said.
He said he is proud of the progress he’s made over the years.
“This falls apart and it’s full of worms. It’s really pretty cool,” he said.
Brey utilized low disturbance manure injection, which keeps manure on the surface more leading to less runoff. That protects the area’s water resources.
“It’s like a no-till drill for manure. It really does a good job of really kind of eliminating any chance go run off,” said Brey.
He said he also implemented rotational grazing, which moves the cows to different parts of the field to protect the grass.
Brey said the cover crops he grows also protect the soil by shielding it from wind erosion. That, he said, keeps nutrients in the ground, making it healthier and better for the crops.
“Not only environmentally is this sound practice, but economically we’re going to use this cover crop as a forage for our cows,” he said.
That has paid off, said Brey. The forage he grows helps offset some of the costs of feed for the 700 cows and 100 beef cattle.
He said the overall goal is to keep soil healthy, be financially viable and be good stewards of the land by minimizing any potential harmful impacts to the environment and natural resources.
“This is what we’re shooting for,” he said.