Every day is Earth day

Every day is Earth day for a farmer.  While all humans depend on the earth, farmers have been entrusted with the responsibility of caring for it as well.  A job we don’t take lightly.  Every decision we make not only affects ourselves, but others as well.

Freshly planted no-till corn, notice the debris on top of the soil has barely been disturbed

One thing we do on our farm is no-till farming.  A pretty self explanatory term.  We do not till the ground we plant our crops on.  Ever.  This conserves the soil from being washed or blown away, by leaving plant reside on top of the soil.  It also conserves fuel, as we do not need to make as many trips over the field.

A hilly farm with hay buffer strips and crop rows on contour

We farm hilly ground in a contour.  This means that we plant the rows on the hills in a way that prevents rain water from washing away soil.  Instead of planting the rows up and down the hill, where the water could easily run between the rows and create ruts,  we plant them across the hill to slow the water (and soil). Along with the contour we also  plant hay buffer strips on sloped ground to prevent water run-off and soil erosion.

Terraces used to make a steep hillside more level

We also use terraces on hilly ground.  Terraces are earthen sort of “dams” built into a hillside to level the ground that is farmed, as well as slow down rain water run-off.

Cattle graze pasture along a small creek

We pasture ground that is too hilly to farm, or too close to a delicate waterway.

Monitors control chemical application rates and relay other data in the sprayer

We use GPS and other technology to apply seed, chemicals, and fertilizers to the ground at specific rate, so as not to use any more than is absolutely necessary.

Livestock manure is stored in sealed pits until it can be applied to the ground as fertilizer.  This greatly reduces our need for synthetic fertilizers, and prevents the manure from becoming a pollutant.

I could go on and on about all the things we do right here on our farm that conserve resources.  This list is just a start to it all.  I can’t say it enough.  Every thing we do is focused on conservation of resources.  Every day is Earth Day for a farmer!!

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