Hedrick has seen the benefits of cover crops, grazing livestock, and using manure on his ground, starting with 1.7% organic matter in the 2012 season and increasing to 8.2% by 2022.
“For every one percent increase of organic matter, I’m boosting my water holding capacity to about 25,000 to 27,000 gallons,” he explained. “That means I have the ability now versus 10 years ago to hold another seven acre inches of moisture in the top six inches. Based on corn using ¼ inch of moisture a day during vegetative growth, that is 24 days longer I can go without rain than my neighbor without adding drought stress. And if we’re not stressing the plant, we’re putting on maximized yield.”