Apache sprayer in corn field
Apache sprayer in corn field

Farming Practices

Hidden Creek Farms uses a system of sustainable farming practices to guarantee high yield along with proper and diligent land management procedures.

In addition to growing crops, we complete numerous farm activities in order to achieve the best results including:

Taking soil sample

Fertility Management

Each of our fields is soil sampled every 4 years in the spring to optimize plant growth and assist in solving any soil-related problems that might arise. Soil assessments allow us to make adjustments as needed.

Hidden Creek Farms utilizes the University of Illinois recommendations on Crop Maintenance Fertilizer Required for corn and soybeans. Most fields are fertilized every year to allow for minor adjustments and to gain the highest nutrient availability for each crop.

John Deere Disc Ripping

Soil Preparation

Hidden Creek Farms soil preparation begins just after harvest each year. Almost all of our acres are worked with our Kuhn-Krause Excelerator which is a minimum tillage tool that cuts the residue of the high-yielding crops to accelerate the decomposition process and allow the field cultivator and planter to move smoothly through the field the following spring. We also run a disc ripper through any compacted ground or fields that have had limestone applied.

At Hidden Creek Farms, we are very mindful about tillage, taking extra care to make sure erosion is not amplified by any of our practices.

Planting corn overlooking the lake

Planting the Crop

Planting season is the time of year when extra care is taken to make sure the seeds are placed in optimum conditions. Extra patience is needed to allow for an excellent seedbed and timely planting. The operation uses two Kinze planters operating in the same crop to allow for efficient and optimum planting. These planters are built to be able to plant both crops, 30” row corn, and 15” row soybeans. Both planters have electric row shutoffs to prevent over-seeding and to reduce any waste of valuable seed.

corn sprouts in dirt

Plant Care Management

This process begins with choosing highly-researched and proven seed to maximize yields. Knowing that every field is unique, Hidden Creek Farms evaluates which corn and soybean hybrids will work best on each individual field in any given planting season.

Directly after each field is planted, the plants are constantly monitored for any problems, such as a portion of a field that may be identified as needing to be replanted due to rain.

Weed control is another operation Hidden Creek Farms performs, focusing on the timely application of herbicides and cultivation which leads to excellent economics. We run over every acre throughout the growing season to assess any issues that may arise with weed control in order to optimize crop yields.

Harvesting soybeans with John Deere combine in Illinois


During harvest, Hidden Creek Farms is both diligent and patient. We allow corn and soybean moisture levels to drop naturally to acceptable harvest levels in order to reduce drying costs and receive the highest return on our grain. We also utilize our own semi-trucks to quickly and efficiently transport grain to market. This in-house practice not only speeds up our harvest process but also reduces unnecessary costs of hiring outside trucking resources. We also have the option to use grain bags as temporary storage for gain marketing flexibility. This allows us to store grain directly in the field and transport it later when timing and pricing become more favorable.

Soybean pods silhouetted in the field at sunset. Copyright 2021 Virginia Dahms

Post-Harvest Operations

Fertilizer, tillage, and water management decisions are made after harvest is completed. Dry fertilizer is applied in the fall and lightly worked into the soil. Occasionally, some fields may require water management. Remedies may include repairing holes in drainage tiles or installing new lines of tile to help facilitate drainage.

Grain Bagging

At Hidden Creek Farms, we utilize grain storage bags as a temporary storage method. The harvested grain is stored directly in the field in a long plastic tubular bag using the Loftness system.

Grain bagging directly in the field allows us to take advantage of harvest efficiencies along with an optimal marketing strategy. The grain is removed from the bag at a later time and delivered to the most profitable marketing location.

plowed field in the spring time with blue sky


Farmers are among the world’s greatest conservation allies. They produce the crops that help to feed, fuel, and clothe a growing world while caring for the lands and waters on which their livelihoods depend. As the global population continues to grow, farmers will be under increasing pressure to produce even more crops without sacrificing the environment.

The solution is right under our feet – the soil.

By adopting conservation practices, farmers can build rich, fertile soils that will grow robust crops while protecting water sources, storing carbon, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating fields that are more resilient to extreme weather events. It’s a win-win for farmers and nature.

Hidden Creek Farms is devoted to improving the land for generations to come. Utilizing technology to reduce crop inputs, maintaining proper drainage systems, and reducing tillage are a few actions that are the foundations of our operation.