Ross & Morgan Weymiller
The bluffs of the Upper Iowa River rise above the New Albin farm operation of Ross and Morgan Weymiller. The view from the flats is an expanse of trees that cover the ridge and then open to the river and fields that surround it. Tucked just beyond the fields is the 6,000-head sow unit managed by Ross Weymiller.
It’s an idyllic location being managed so that its natural beauty and the recreation it provides can be enjoyed for generations to come. And in mor practical terms, it is nestled in an area where the bluffs and trees disrupt wind patterns and reduce the impact of odor for the neighboring areas.
The site was first built as a 600-head sow unit in 1999 at a smaller scale by Ross’ father, David. The site expanded in 2002 and went through some more expansions after Ross returned to the farm operation in 2006 and began managing the sow barns.
If you’ve been to Allamakee County in Iowa’s most northeastern corner, you know the terrain and soil types have always demanded that farmers who wanted to hold onto that soil needed to practice conservation measures. The Weymillers use no-till on all highly erodible ground, have planted grassed waterways, make use of cover crops, and implement crop rotation of corn and soybeans.
The swine manure is a valuable resource for the crops, and they apply the manure with a dragline on as many acres as is feasible. In order to reduce water waste in the sow barns, the Weymillers have water tanks over the stalls so they can manage use. Coupled with Phytase, this produces a manure that is rich in N, P, K and Sulfur; and those values are tested with each pumping from the pits so that allowable agronomic rates of the nutrients can be matched with field needs.
Beyond the farmed acres, the family has worked with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to install riprap and other stream bank stabilization projects. The projects not only protect the creeks, streams and river near their land, but also protect the farmland from washing away.
The Weymillers are the 2022 Iowa Pork Environmental Steward Award winners. The land they farm is also the land where they enjoy hunting and fishing, and other recreational outings with family and friends.