Soil erosion not welcome here
The Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts recently honored five outstanding families. Each received a Conservation Farmer of the Year award.
Indiana Prairie Farmer joined Indiana Farm Bureau Inc. as a sponsor.
Here’s a brief rundown of this year’s winners.
• Bob Brewington, Versailles: Brewington purchased his first farm in 1960. He was an early adopter of no-till, tweaking his John Deere 7000 planter to achieve good stands. He’s also a frontrunner in installing filter strips and habitat for wildlife. Recently, he established cover-crop plots.
• Dennis Dickman, Greensburg: A fence post half-buried in sediment reminds Dickman how much no-till and conservation practices have helped since he and his wife, Mary, purchased the farm in 1980. He’s no-tilled since 1994. He even built a chemical-storage facility to minimize concerns about storing fertilizer and chemicals.
• Robert Dunbar, Jamestown: How Dunbar farms his 400 acres directly affects Big Raccoon Creek and Reed Ditch. He’s either strip-tilled or no-tilled since 1985. Dunbar added GPS technology in 2009 to improve accuracy in herbicide applications. His efforts at providing for wildlife date to 1974.
• Stewart Kellerman, Romney: Kellerman looks at his entire farm as a system. Efforts to channel water must flow and work together. He’s installed an extensive system of grass waterways, plus added other conservation practices, including streambank stabilization. He converted to no-till soybeans and reduced tillage for corn.
• Kenneth, Richard and Jim Lange, Ferdinand: With cattle and turkeys, they’ve concentrated on protecting water quality. Rotational grazing and keeping cattle out of streams help. They’ve installed several water- and sediment-control basins. Their only mistake, Kenny says, was not installing conservation practices 10 years sooner.
COVER-UP! Not all “cover-ups” are bad. Bob Brewington uses pasture on rolling land and cover crops on cropland to keep his soil covered and protected.
This article published in the February, 2010 edition of INDIANA PRAIRIE FARMER.
All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2010.