Cody Nelson

Nelson spoke at a no-till and winter crops workshop in Kansasville, Wis., in Racine County, south of Milwaukee. Submitted photo.

BELVIEW, Minn. – The snow was getting deep in mid- to late February. An 18-24-inch snowpack covered much of Redwood, Renville and Yellow Medicine counties where Bar N Cattle Company is located.

“The winter has been as rough as I can remember for quite some time and snow is deep everywhere,” said Cody Nelson, a farmer/rancher and owner of Soil RX Land Management company.

Located in the Minnesota River Valley, Bar N Cattle Co.’s location has lots of trees and not much wind.

“The cows are doing good plowing through all the snow,” he said. “It’s been a battle, and I’m glad we were able to get enough hay put up as I’ve been getting several calls from other producers looking for hay.”

The busy meeting season continued for Cody. In early February, he drove to Kansasville, Wis., in Racine County, south of Milwaukee, to speak at the no-till and winter crops workshop there.

Then, he attended a meeting of the Hawk Creek Watershed Project and the Renville County Soil and Water Conservation District, where Cody had a booth. The project provides encouragement to farmers who want to grow cover crops and/or reduce tillage. About 80 farmers attended the event.

His upcoming events included speaking at the Feb. 26 Pheasants Forever and Precision Planting meetings in Morris. He also planned to attend some Soil Health Café Chats, in Marshall and Renville, hosted by the Sustainable Farming Association. His plans included serving as keynote speaker at the Becker County Soil Health Day in Detroit Lakes on March 7.

In early February, the Nelsons attended the Watertown, S.D., winter farm show and sale where they exhibited the Reserve Champion Shorthorn Plus Female, who was also the top selling Shorthorn Plus in the sale.

A Shorthorn Plus is a Registered Percentage Shorthorn. Once the animal reaches 15/16ths they are considered purebred.

“We have a Shorthorn Plus program where we cross Shorthorns with Angus to produce black bulls for a few customers,” he said. “The black bulls will offer heterosis to herds that want to maintain the black hide but incorporate Shorthorn blood into their herd to help increase maternal and marbling traits.”

Their plans also included taking part in another online sale on Feb. 28 on Wise Shorthorns and Bar N Cattle were offering Shorthorn bulls, cows and semen.

“Picturing for this made for an entertaining event as we were unable to reschedule picture day, so we received about 7 inches of snow during that process,” he said.

In addition, Cody was visiting potential clients to talk about using cover crops to keep soil in place.

“We are in the process of setting up cover crop plans as well as alternating crop rotations as corn and beans just aren't cutting it in a lot of cases,” he said. “I have several clients that are looking at adding a small grain to harvest the cash grain and the straw and allowing them to get a cover crop established for custom grazing.

“By doing this, we can quickly stimulate biological diversity allowing for better nutrient cycling, allowing us to grow a corn crop with much lower inputs while also giving us the opportunity for increased yields and definitely increased net profits.”

0301 Bred female JDMC Victoria stood well for photos despite 7 inches of snow falling that day at Bar N Cattle Company. Submitted photo.

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