What soil conservation efforts have you made on your farm recently in order to be a proactive teacher for the next generation of farmers?
The following are conservation efforts that you may want to install in order to keep your soil on your land instead of in the ditch, neighbor’s pond, fields, streams, or lakes:
- Buffer strips —maintain buffer strips along tree lines, fence rows, streams, and ponds to keep soil erosion to a minimum and keep fertilizer away from water sources.
- Grass waterways — holds your soil in place so there is no gully production from heavy rainfalls.
- Contour strips — are making a comeback, contour strips are used when we install row crops along lines of the same elevation to conserve rainwater and reduce soil loss.
- Stream exclusion fencing — keeps the animals out of our streams, ponds, lakes so manure is not incorporated in the streams/ponds, animals prefer clean water and will have better production rates with a spring development or other clean water source.
- Heavy use pads — gravel or cement pads to reduce compaction/erosion during feeding, by having a heavy use pad your animals require less energy used because they are not fighting against mud therefore less energy or feed is required.
- Tillage methods — no-till drills will reduce erosion and soil disturbance therefore keeping the soil on the field it started on.
- Manure application — remember the 4R’s- the right source, the right place-away from streams and ditches, the right time-not on frozen or saturated ground, the right rate-soil test!
Contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District or NRCS office for further information on these best management practices.
We will help guide you through a conservation plan specific to your farm.
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