CHRISTIAN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Fathers and sons sometimes wrestle over decisions on the farm, but this duo farming in southwestern Christian County has an intellectual partnership.
In farming, son usually learns from Dad. But with Joe Blome and son Joe, Junior, it’s a two way street.
“How long we’ve been in this part of the country, about five generations, on both sides of the family, there’s a lot of family heritage on the farm,” says Blome, Sr. “What we’ve noticed more than anything is probably the reduction of tillage and just trying to be more efficient and vertically integrated.”
“We’ve started planting a lot of cover crops whether it be rye, oats, radishes, things like that and then wheat is a cover crop and we can harvest it and make money off of it,” says Blome, Jr. “Our goal is just to try to have something growing on our soil year-round. And with the way prices of ground are, we might as well be utilizing it year-round. There’s no sense in utilizing it for just one growing season. It can have something growing on it and collecting sunlight year-round, that’s a better use of my soil.”
Joe Blome Sr. says that’s a lot different from how he started farming.
“Nope, I grew up on a moldboard plow.”
WCIA asks, what prompted that change?
“Herbicides were available so we didn’t have to have such clean tillage and not cultivate and do all the tillage passes,” says Blome, Sr. “With herbicides it became through knowledge we realized your soil is better off with soil structure and the microbes and soil is better off with less tillage and more cover crops”.
“We, as farmers, don’t want to think we are at war with the environment; we are the environment,” says Blome Jr. We are working with it. And the better we can work with it, the better it will repay us.”
“I’ve learned a lot from my son,” says the father.
“And I’ve learned a lot from him,” says the son.
“It’s a two way street. Instead of just a one-way street,” says Blome, Sr.