Working hand in hand with the local FSA (Farm Service Agency), NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service), and local SWCD (Soil and Water Conservation District) staff has opened many doors in our young operation!
From the founding of Wayne Trace Farms, we have focused on a no-till cropping system. This means that we plant our crops will out tilling the seed bed. This can reduce soil sediment and nutrients leaving our farm fields, increase soil quality leading to better crop growth, and reduce input costs. By choosing no-till we can farm with less machinery, handy when starting out in the capital intensive farming industry. Our focus is to farm with the least amount of equipment possible, this way we can invest more in any one given piece to help further improve efficiency and open door to technology and practices usually reserved for "large" farmers.
Completed Conservation Projects:
Rohrbach waterway 2017
We worked with a USDA civil engineer to design a new grass waterway though the field behind the farmstead. The completed grass waterway will acts like a seasonal ditch that allows large amounts of water after a heavy rain to quickly pass through the farm, from several square miles of land, to the drainage ditch at the south end of the farm without eroding the field. The waterway was completed during the summer of 2017.
2017 will be an exiting year on the farm, as we begin the implementation of several conservation practices and programs. We have spent most of 2016 preparing by developing a defined nutrient management plan defining how we will identify the right fertilizer products, the right rates to apply fertilizer, how we will determine the right fertilizer to use, and how to determine the best application method for the given situation. We are implementing the 4R's Stewardship approach to our farm land. To learn more visit http://www.nutrientstewardship.com .
The family has grown to love spending time in the 30 acres of wooded land on our main farm. Many walking paths and the abundant wildlife has been a real treat living on the farm. We have begin working with a great forest management specialist that has helped us identify several opportunities to improve the health of the woodlands. We will be working to remove some evasive species and even harvesting some trees to allow others to grow stronger. Some parts of the woods have too many trees to support strong tree growth, so with his guidance we will be selectively harvesting trees to allow others to grow stronger.
We work closely with the Allen County Drainage Board on several projects. While government does not move quickly, open communication and learning the boards process over time is helpful in work cooperatively on projects. It took some time to gain funding and county drainage board approval, but we are on target to start a 2-stage ditch project in 2019.