The conservation work continues today at the Waldo farm. Sam Shepard and his brothers are braving the cold to install more drainage tile. We are convinced that this practice makes the land more productive, and it is an effective way to enhance our bottom line. Shepards’ have finished at the Pond farm; there, they completed the 2nd half of the project started last fall. We had them install tile in the upper half of the 84-acre field in October 2010, and install the other half this month. The field conditions were a little more challenging this year, with more moisture in the soil.
This tile installing machine is precisely guided by laser so that the tile are exactly ‘on grade’ to drain properly.
Some of the other Shepard brothers are working at the Huey farm to reshape some surface depressions on that big, flat field. Utilizing some laser-guided ‘dirt pans’, or ‘scrapers’ as they are sometimes called, they cut broad channels from the concave areas and deposit the soil in other areas so that no surface water will collect and stand during or after a big rain. These broad channels will connect to a ditch at the field border to move the surface water to a culvert through a protective levee, and away from the farm entirely.
Because we use a ‘no-till’ method of farming these days, the water that leaves that field surface will be cleaner, not loaded with soil or crop residues. This is all part of the management of the environment that increases our productivity and protects the soil and water… all at the same time!