Apr 18, 2022
Welcome back to Soil Solutions with Jessica Gnad. This is the
second of three episodes highlighting the Kansas Dept. of
Agriculture's Division of Conservation.
MIchael Thompson is a KDA Divison of Conservation representative for the Western Kansas region. In this episode, Michael shares his thoughts on why and how we can better manage our soil, mitigating erosion and declining water, the unique challenges farmers face in western Kansas, and more. Michael farms in partnership as Thompson Farm and Ranch LLC with his brother Brian and father Richard. The operation is located in Northeast Norton County near Almena, KS. They grow corn, soybeans, and wheat. They also manage a cow/calf beef herd that rotationally grazes on native range and diverse cover crops grown on farmland when there is not a cash grain crop growing. The operation is 100 percent no-till with a focus on increasing biology, soil cover, water holding capacity, and carbon levels of the soils they manage.
The last several years Thompson Farm & Ranch has been below their normal precipitation but still has been able to produce good yields in grain crops while providing enough forage for the cattle herd. The change in land management on Thompson Farm & Ranch has made a difference in surviving the years of less than normal rainfall.
He is a board member for Kansas Soil Health Alliance as well as No-Till on the Plains.