Rice County, Minnesota


2022 – present




Conservation Story

Brothers Bob and Rich Sommers are busy. Along with their farming operation, they run a farm equipment and auto repair shop and sell corn, soybean, and cover crop seeds. 

They began adding cover crops into their corn and soybean rotation in 2013 to try to reduce soil erosion. They started out small and after having good yields, increased acres over the years with support from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program. After last fall’s harvest, they planted cover crops into 600 acres using a no-till drill. The coverage increases rainwater infiltration into the soil and reduces field erosion after heavy rainfalls.   

Along with cover crops, the Sommers have adopted minimum and no-till practices to improve the health of the soil. These methods have helped reduce wind erosion during the winter months. 

Talk to as many people who have had success with these practices as you can. It’s not always going to work the first time and you should start slow.

Bob Sommers
Bob and Rich Sommers standing in a shed in front of a green John Deer tractor

Farm Description

The Sommers have been farming together in Rice County since 1993. They plant cover crops into a corn-soybean rotation.

Conservation practices at work

Buffer strips

Cover crops

Grassed waterways

No till and minimum till

Nutrient management

Sediment basins

Get Started Today

Talk to Bob and Rich Sommers

Want to know more about how the Sommers made changes on their farm? Contact them today.

Connect with technical experts

Learn more about these practices and financial and educational resources available to make changes on your farm. Contact the Rice Soil and Water Conservation District at (507)-332-5408.

Explore more

Learn more about what other farmers in the region are doing to build soil health by exploring the rest of the tour.

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