Ryan Speer, United States

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Nominated by Gary Hill, Corteva

Ryan_Speer“There is still a tremendous amount of erosion in this area and across this country that could be stopped with practice changes.  I took the stance I didn’t ever want to see soil blowing or washing away again, or as little as possible, so we have made these changes because it is good for us and the environment.”

Climate Positive Practices

Ryan Speer is a farmer in Sedgewick, Kansas who produces corn, beans, milo, wheat, cotton, and cover crops, ensuring there is a living root in all acres 365 days a year to prevent soil erosion. He achieves this accomplishment through a rotation of corn-bean-wheat-double crop milo-cotton, equaling five cash crops in four years with cover crops placed in-between the cash crops. When a crop is harvested, another cash crop or cover crop is planted either the same day or shortly thereafter. This practice helps Ryan eliminate wind and water erosion, controlling evaporation loss, weed control with reduced chemicals, reducing fertilizer, grazing available for cattle, nematode suppression using cover crops, and overall reduced inputs with yields continuing to increase.

Ryan has tracked several benefits including a 36 percent reduction on average for irrigation, reduced nitrogen applications as well as increases in soil organic matter consistently each year.