By Matt Echelberry
Water for Yields in Your Fields, an event sponsored by the Crawford County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), was held on Aug. 28 on a farm located west of Crestline. Members of SWCD, local farmers and employees of Sunrise Cooperative gathered beneath a large canopy tent.
Several presentations were given about how to help farmers in the Loss Creek Watershed use farming practices that increase the yields of their crops, reduce soil erosion and reduce nutrient runoff into streams, rivers and lakes. Topics like water control and the 4R Tomorrow Nutrient Stewardship were discussed.
For water control, products from Agri Drain Corporation, an Iowa-based company that specializes in water management, were explained and their uses were demonstrated. One of the products was the Water Gate, a float activated head pressure valve for inline water level control. It was reported to conserve water and reduce nutrient loss for farmers.
4R Tomorrow is a stewardship program designed by SWCD and the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts to help farmers while also protecting natural resources. According to the information provided to the attendees that day: “Sustainable agriculture production is important and consists of three elements: economic, social and environmental. Agriculture practices must contribute positively to all three elements to ensure a productive and prosperous future.”
For more information, visit 4RTomorrow.org or contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District.
In addition, Tom Cook, a manager at Sunrise Cooperative, attended the event and explained what his company offers to help farmers increase soil efficiency.
Sunrise, which is located across the road from the farm where the event was held, is a grain marketing and supply cooperative located in north central Ohio. It is owned by 2,800 farmers and operates seven grain facilities, three of which are large grain terminals. One of those terminals is in Crestline.
After about an hour’s worth of presentations, a tour of cover crops and farming equipment was offered that afternoon. The equipment a farmer chooses is important for yield potential, but cover crops such as clover, ryegrass and winter wheat are equally beneficial. They reduce soil erosion and improve soil microbiology, leading to improved yield potential.
Matt Echleberry is a reporter at the Galion Inquirer.