News from the IASWCD
For release: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Indiana farmer one of three regional conservation legacy award winners
Indianapolis - Decatur County farmer Roger Wenning is one of three regional winners of the 2013 Conservation Legacy Awards program. The announcement was made recently by the American Soybean Association.
One of the three regional winners also will receive the National Conservation Legacy Award, to be announced on March 1, 2013, at the annual ASA Awards Banquet during Commodity Classic in Kissimmee, Fla.
Wenning is a 2011 Conservation Farmer of the Year award winner from the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. When the Decatur County Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor took over his farming operation, there were many gully and erosion problems. Starting in the early 1990s he implemented conservation practices such as grassed waterways and cover crops. He also began experimenting with minimum and no-till farming. Year after year, yields and soil health improved. Today Wenning strip tills all corn, no-tills all soybeans, and uses nutrient management on all acres.
The transformation in soil health has been amazing. The combination of no-till and cover crops virtually eliminates erosion and compaction problems he used to battle.
Today earth worms and cover crops do all of the tillage work. The Wennings use ryegrass to build organic matter and loosen up tight clay soils. The benefits are remarkable. All tillable acres now have cover crops on them. The cover crops also help to trap nitrogen in the soil where it belongs, instead of escaping through tile lines or runoff.