Save the date and plan on joining your friends and neighbors for the Williams County Soil and Water Conservation District’s (SWCD) annual Field Technology Day Thursday, August 20th. The place to be is the Allen Dean Farm west of Bryan starting with dinner at 5:00 p.m. from Susie’s Lunch.
Soil health and cover crops go hand-in-hand! The USDA-NRCS ‘unlock your farm’s potential’ (April 2013, Program Aid 2130) states that ‘healthy, fully functioning soil provides an environment that sustains and nourishes plants, soil microbes and beneficial insects. Managing for soil health is one of the easiest and most effective ways for farmers to increase crop productivity and profitability while improving the environment.’ It continues by stating how to improve soil health, ‘Disturb the soil as little as possible, grow many different species of plants through rotations and a diverse mixture of cover crops, plant cover crops around harvest to keep living roots growing in the soil for as much of the year as possible, and keep the soil surface covered with residue year round.’ Farmers who unlock the benefits of soil benefit from fewer inputs, sustainable outputs, and increased resiliency thus leading to increased production, increased profits, and natural resource protection.’
We welcome you to come out and listen and learn about cover crops and soil health from David Brandt. David farms 1,150 acres in central Ohio. He began no-till farming in 1971 and has been using cover crops since 1978. David has participated in yield plots for corn, soybeans and wheat into various covers. This information has been used by seed growers, county agents, and universities to encourage other farmers to adapt no-till practices in their farming operations. He has also been planting various blends of cover crops to find out what benefits they provide to improve soil. He has worked with Ohio State University on reducing input costs of fertilizers and herbicides using various cover crops. He has worked with the regional Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soils lab in North Carolina on the benefits of cover crops to improve soil health. David has received numerous awards for conservation practices, including the Ohio Conservation Educator Award from the Ohio No-Till Council, Ohio State University South Center’s Supporter of the Year, Ohio Agriculture’s Man of the Year, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award, and Ohio NRCS Soil Conservationist Partnership and State Volunteer Awards.
Allen Dean is owner and manager of Dean Farms a long term no-till and cover crop farm in Northwest Ohio. Allen’s first experience with cover crops was in the early 1980’s. Since that first field, he has continued to research newly developed cover crops that will stop soil erosion, enhance soil health and improve water quality. Today, on his own and neighboring farms, he plants various mixes of cover crops into wheat stubble, corn and soybeans.
The Kenn-Feld Group will bring a John Deere 2510H High Speed Low Disturbance fertilizer applicator to exhibit.
The Upper St. Joseph Watershed Management Plan was completed early in 2015 and is ready for public use. The Plan was written to serve as a roadmap to improve the quality of life for people in the watershed by helping to ensure clean water and healthy natural resources. Project Manager Sharon Partridge will introduce the Plan and show citizens how they can use it as a reference tool for clean water projects.
This event is sponsored by the Williams SWCD, Conservation Action Program (CAP), and OSU Extension Williams County (OSU).
There is no cost to attend, but reservations are required for dinner. Call the Williams SWCD office at 419-636-9395 Ext 3 or 419-636-2349 Ext 3 by August 14th to make your reservation. Join us for an excellent evening meal and take home some innovative ideas from an informative presentation and discussion. Allen Dean’s farm is located at 2480 County Road 12C, Bryan, Ohio.