Conservation work

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

We are building a new WASCoB terrace at our Steen farm, on the south side of Wheatland.  This addition should improve the performance of the erosion-reduction efforts at that location.  This new terrace will be over 1000 feet long, and will be drained with two tile risers.  One riser is in a older 6″ tile line; the other is in a line we added more recently, and 8″ in capacity.  Uphill from this construction, there are already 6 long terraces across the slope of the Steen Big field, and this one is the 7th.  This work should complete the conservation plans in this field.

Our long-time contractor, Olan Worland is performing this work.  He has increased his use of technology.  No longer does he look through a ‘scope’ (similar to a scope on a rifle) to find the slope and dimensions of the project.  He now uses a laser beam generator to determine the precise location and size of the structure we’ve asked him to build.

Soil is moved from both sides to create the new terrace, but more is moved from the upper slope.

Even though it is a chilly day, Mr. Worland works in shirtsleeve comfort in his dozer. Can you spot his laser-beam generator on the tripod behind his pickup?

Here is the a long view, looking south. Water from a heavy rain will be gently diverted by this terrace to the orange riser pipes, through which it will run underground to the outlet in a ditch. This stops the runoff from creating a gully down the slope of the field.

Often, farmers partner with the local Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS) to acquire some cost-sharing for such projects.  We’ve partnered with those good people for projects in the past and we will again in the future, but this one is solely designed and funded by us.

These pictures were taken yesterday, when the weather was cool but sunny.  The project is now about 2/3 complete, but today’s rain has stopped the work on this project.  They will be able to finish it up as soon as the soil is sufficiently dry again.  That drying out takes longer in November than in September or October!

We enjoyed last night’s Purdue basketball game vs Marquette!   Feels good to earn a solid win on the road.   We hope to make it to a home game or two this winter.   It’s a great feeling to be in Mackey Arena.



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