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.
This article published in the February, 2010 edition of INDIANA PRAIRIE FARMER.