Andy & Brian Stickel

Watershed: Wood County

Conservation Practices:

  • Cover Crops
  • Nutrient Management (4Rs)
  • Variable-Rate Technology
  • Soil Nutrient Testing
  • No-Till
  • Vertical-Till
  • Strip Banding Fertilizer

Water Quality Improvement Summary:

Brothers Andy and Brian Stickel utilize no-till for about 85 percent of the corn and soybeans on their family’s farm. They also plant cereal rye and other cover crops in standing corn stalks for living coverage and soil enrichment. Cover crops and soil testing are effective components of their livestock nutrient management plan.

In an effort to use minimal fertilizer, they plant 15-inch rows of soybeans and 30-inch rows of corn, banding it in the strip 2-3 inches deep on each side of the row ahead of the planter. This method helped eliminate phosphorus and fertilizer applications in the fall.

“We believe in cover crops as a conservation tool. It’s not no-till. We’re building soil health,” said Andy. “We’re trying to use less and less fertilizer and increase cover crops. It’s about finding the right balance.”