49.1 F
Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Batalden’s buckwheat is not your average crop

It is rare to see a field of buckwheat blooming, but that is the case in northern Cottonwood County as Ryan Batalden has over 170 acres growing this summer.

Batalden had visitors from the Cottonwood County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) on Thursday, who are interested in how farmers are using cover crops for soil health and better production.

Batalden, 45, is an organic farmer with his wife Tiffany, and they have three children named Finn, Lilly and Stella. The Bataldens farm just under 700 acres with Ryan’s parents Phil and Deb.

Nathan Harder is a technician with the SWCD and said, “It is interesting to hear from Ryan how he experiments with crops and tries to change things up. He works to sell the grain or seed, but also is thinking about the overall life of the soil.”

This year, Batalden is trying to work buckwheat into some of his crop rotations because it is very unique and in working without chemicals, it seems to really help for weed control.

“It’s interesting that it is not related to the other small grains like oats or wheat, or corn or soybeans,” said Batalden. “The closest thing around here that it’s related to is rhubarb. It has a three sided seed like rhubarb, although rhubarb’s seed is a lot bigger.”

For more details, please see the August 2 edition of the Citizen.

- Advertisment -