"We are feeding and raising our animals well so our neighbors can be fed well."
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The Right Seed Mix for You!

A Green Acres Cover Crop mix of warm and cool season grasses including an array of clovers. 

The link below connects you to a very informative on-farm case study focusing on cover crops. 
We fully recognize every farm and ranch scenario is different; however, there are some general themes around cover crops that are beneficial to every operation.

That is why Green Acres Cover Crops and Ficke Cattle Company – Graze Master Genetics™ is driven to offer a full-circle approach that meets your needs

Check out the link below and remember we can offer the cover crop individual seed and mixes that work specifically for you. 

We can deliver seed to your door, anywhere across the United States.    
Contact Nate Belcher at (402) 580-0015 or email or Del Ficke at (402) 499-0329 or email

Click here to read this very informative Cover Crop Case Study:
Check out our new cover crop case study videos from our Green Acres Cover Crops Research Farm! You can click this blue button to see them all or check out!

Nebraska Extension Partnership
A big thank you to the Nebraska Extension tour group for visiting Green Acres Cover Crops and Ficke Cattle Company – Graze Master Genetics recently.  The group of experts included:  C.L. Wayne Moore, Associate Dean & Associate Director of Nebraska Extension; Rick Rasby, Associate Dean UNL Extension; Mary Drewnoski, Assistant Professor Beef Systems Specialist Department of Animal Science; Jay Parsons, Associate Professor at the Department of Agricultural Economics and Daren Redfearn, Forage/Crop Residue Specialist at UNL Extension.

Thank you especially, Jane Okalebo – Data Coordinator for the Platte River High Plains Aquifer Long-Term Agro-Ecosystem Research Network, for spearheading the coordination of this visit.  Jane is in the photo above with C.L. Wayne Moore and brings a lot of experience from her background in Africa on best practices in terms of water usage and soil health.  She gets it and we are so proud to call her friend!

We look forward to the possibilities to partner with members of this great group of people in the areas of cover crops, ultra-high-density-grazing practices, soil/water health, community building and so much more. 
Learn more at:
No Input Dryland Corn Research after Cover Crops

Corn beginning to pop up in June through a blanket of cover crops.

In August of last year we seeded this field to a fall/winter cover crop mix of mostly rye, hairy vetch and several species of clover.  We grazed cows on the field starting about April 15 to May 30.  Then we went in and planted a short-season/conventional corn seed. 

Cornfield today.

There were no inputs put on this field except a burn-down (not Round Up) on a very small portion.  Most of the field matured out on its own and was eaten or tromped by the cattle.  Now we are relying on the nutrients that the cattle placed during our intensive grazing practices to feed this corn crop plus whatever the cover crops added positively into the soil profile. 

The purpose of this research field is to test the least amount of inputs and practices we can implement because we want to maximize the benefit to the soil while also raising a profitable conventional corn crop.   It will be interesting to see what the harvest produces.  We are comfortable to conduct this research because with the cattle grazing that has already occurred here, we are going into the corn planting and harvest with a net profit on this field. 

Benefits of Bio-Carpeting

We have really seen the benefits of bio-carpeting at Ficke Cattle Company – Graze Master Genetics™.  This is a photo of the beginning of the “bio-carpeting” process – swathed, native prairie hay on our neighbor Ron Minchow’s farm.  We will bale this hay and then next winter we will feed it across the road on some of our brome pastures to introduce species of warm season grasses and legumes.  This “bio-carpet” will literally increase diversity and build the soil in our pastures.  The cows eat what they want, tromp some in and lay on the rest.  It’s a money savings too because we are not purchasing grass seed or commercial fertilizer.  The rich biology of the “bio-carpet” and cattle provide those inputs naturally and will do the rest of the work for us.  Thank you Ron for being such a great neighbor and such an enthusiast for trying new practices to improve the land and livestock!   

Thank you Dr. Drought!

Drought and climate change, like grasshoppers, are issues we may not want to face. But reality is reality.
We wanted to take a moment to honor the work of Dr. Donald A. Wilhite, fondly referred to as Dr. Drought across the globe.  We look forward to learning more from Dr.  Wilhite as he may be retiring, but will be continuing to spread the word about the realities of climate change and the role we all have in ensuring our natural resources are used wisely. 
Here is a link to the 2014 report on climate change implications in Nebraska and also the 2016 report from the eight, sector-based roundtables that Wilhite organized last fall:
The next link is an article by Nancy Gaarder in the World Herald about Wilhite’s plants to continue spreading the word after his retirement. 
In the article he says, “Climate change is happening on a global scale, but adapting to change must begin at the local level, where climatic impacts are felt.”

(Facts from the article):  Climate Change in Nebraska
Temperature: Nebraska’s average temperature is projected to increase as much as 9 degrees Fahrenheit by the last quarter of this century.
High temperature days: The number of days with highs greater than 100 degrees should increase substantially. By mid-century, the temperatures experienced during the 2012 drought and heat wave will be typical.
Precipitation: Nebraska is in a transition zone in terms of future changes in precipitation. To the north and east, more precipitation is expected; to the south and west, less. Projections for Nebraska show little change in annual precipitation, and perhaps a decrease in the summer months. With hotter weather, though, any precipitation will become less effective.
Drought: Nebraska is expected to experience more frequent and severe droughts in summer because of the combination of increasing temperatures and the increased seasonal variability in precipitation. 
Snowpack: Summer flows on the Platte and Missouri Rivers could be greatly reduced because of projected declines in snowpack
Read the full article here:


Join us!
Neighbors Helping Neighbors:  Cover Crops, Cows and Common Sense Agriculture 


Nate Belcher and Del Ficke of Green Acres Cover Crops and Ficke Cattle Company – Graze Master Genetics™ invites neighbors to come and enjoy food, cold refreshments and great conversation about some profitable practices that may be applicable on your farm and ranch.  Join us for food, fellowship and information!  Hosts are Randy and Megan Brehm

Date, Time and Location:  7 p.m. Thursday, August 4; Duncan Building – next door to the bank on Main Street in Unadilla, Neb. 

Congratulations Del and Sorghum Leadership Class!
The Sorghum Checkoff recently announced the members of Leadership Sorghum Class III. Leadership Sorghum is a program hosted by the Sorghum Checkoff that seeks to develop the next generation of leaders for the sorghum industry.  Fifteen sorghum farmers from seven states have been selected to participate in the program’s third class:
  • Ted Bannister - Hays, Kansas
  • Del Ficke - Pleasant Dale, Nebraska
  • Chad Haden - Clay Center, Kansas
  • Allen Hensley - Alice, Texas
  • Heath Herring - Saint Joseph, Louisiana
  • Joe Krippner - Kimball, Minnesota
  • Gary Mach - Abbott, Texas
  • Jeffery Mai - Garden City, Kansas
  • Craig Meeker - Wellington, Kansas
  • Ethan Miller - Columbia, Missouri
  • Zachary Rendel - Miami, Oklahoma
  • Daniel Riffel - Stockton, Kansas
  • Mark Scott - Manhattan, Kansas
  • Zachary Simon - Goddard, Kansas
  • William Spiegel - Manhattan, Kansas
Class III will begin the 15-month program in the Texas High Plains in September focusing on the sorghum seed industry and basic and applied research. Throughout the program, participants will be exposed to various aspects of the sorghum industry from basic research to international marketing.
Del is excited to share his experiences with others.  He also wants to encourage more sorghum producers to apply next year!  Stay tuned to future Liberator editions and watch our Facebook page too!

Read full article here:

Herd Impact

This is a portion of the Graze Master Genetics™ herd tromping in broadcasted buckwheat and berseem clover after the rye was harvested for hay.  Livestock are a positive impact on the land and benefit your crops.  We can find creative ways to get livestock on your land if you are not already incorporating them into your farm.  Contact us today!

Thank you for reading!  See you in August when we will be featuring a save the date for our fall field day and so much more.  

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