Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cautious Harvest

By Chris Gardner
Chris is a Resource Specialist/CREP leader in the Tippecanoe watershed. Chris works to promote CREP, inspect possible CREP sites, complete conservation plans/maps/state CREP paperwork for CREP projects, meet w/ landowners to discuss their CREP projects and other conservation needs, administer CREP paperwork, survey and design structures, waterways, and other conservation practices as needed. Chris works with contractors and landowners on project installation, assist with other conservation as needed. Areas of Interest/Expertise :No-till farming, cover crops, filter strips, waterways, WASCOB’s, irrigations (travelers), nutrient management, animal waste management, an interest in grazing.

Last night I was reading a post made by a fellow farmer I follow from western Iowa, and was reminded that a wet spring keeps on giving.  A wet Iowa spring gave way to very dry Iowa summer (sound familiar?) and now this Iowa farmer is pushing to chop a dying corn crop to salvage what he can.  In opening up a customer’s field, he finds a large gully which had developed after planting and bent his 12 row chopper head bad enough the dealer said it was totaled.  Now it turns out this farmer’s son is a wizard with a torch and a welder and they’ll be back at it tomorrow, but the lesson here is to keep a keen eye out for the unexpected this harvest season.  

I know in our part of northern Indiana, some gullies have already been pushed shut 3 times this season to get over the fields to spray, detassel seed corn, and allow irrigators to operate safely and these spots still need work.   As you push to bring in this season’s harvest, be mindful of unexpected hazards in your fields.  

Should you find yourself in need of assistance on erosion, cover crops, or other conservation related issues, don’t be afraid to contact your local SWCD or ISDA Resource Specialist for assistance.  We’re here to help you develop a plan of action to meet your conservation needs!

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