Dan Forgey has been with Cronin Farms for 47 years and is the farm’s cropping foreman. As the farm has integrated soil-health practices in the last 24 years, Dan said mistakes have been made, but Cronin Farms is gaining and learning from them. In tillage for 23 years, Cronin Farms planted 75 percent of its acres and left 25 percent as black fallow. The farm has used no-till practices for 23 years, and has seen the soil come alive due to diversified rotations and cover crops and most recently, working cattle into the no-till system through cover crops. In 2016, Cronin’s planted 11 cash crops and 3 forage crops.
Dan believes that if you take care of the land, it will take care of you. He attributes much of the farm’s success to the teachings of Dwayne Beck. Cronin Farms also is a big user of precision agriculture with 85 percent of its acres VRA. A healthy soil, he said, will pay farmers back three-fold if you let it. It takes time and doing the right thing, but the best time to start is today.
“The soil is alive. We need to let it do what it has been doing for years before we messed it up,” Dan said. “We have to be thinking of the generation to come. Being sustainable has got to be a priority in our farm and ranching operations.”