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University of Minnesota Extension

Traverse County Farm Family

Jahnke Farms

Jahnke Farms is proudly owned and operated by Douglas Jahnke and his son, Nicholas. Douglas began farming with his father in 1985 while in high school. After Douglas graduated, he attended Ridgewater College in Willmar and moved away for a year before returning home to farm with his family full time. Douglas assumed full responsibility for the farming operation when his father retired in 2022 and Nicholas was able to begin farming full-time. Doug is proud of his son’s attention to detail and desire to improve the farming operation.

Douglas spent countless hours researching strip-till equipment and the timing of practice components before recently converting all his cropland to a minimum tillage system. His strips are 30 inches between rows, and he offsets the strips by 15 inches each year. The Jahnkes apply P and K fertilizer in the fall strips and split apply nitrogen fertilizer at planting and side dress in the spring. They use variable rate technology to target nutrients to precisely fit crop demands based on soil tests. Farm labor was a major factor in Douglas’ decision to switch to strip till.

In 2022, Douglas decided to incorporate cover crops in his rotation. He planted a diverse mix of winter rye, radish, and turnip seed on three fields. The cover crops are terminated after planting and help improve weed control and balance soil moisture.

Douglas and Nicholas work together to run the operation. Douglas’ wife, Amy, and Nicholas’ wife, Anika, provide support, especially during planting and harvest. Nicholas and Anika have two young sons, Jaxx and Jagger, who are excited about rides in the tractor and combine.

Douglas serves as a member of the Trinity-Mt. Olive Lutheran Church council is a member of the Big Stone County Sno Riders Snowmobile club as well as a member of the steering committee of the Bois de Sioux Watershed District.

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