Showing posts from December, 2012

Strip Tillage Benefits

Area motorist may be seeing a different type of tillage being performed on farm fields in the county. Albert Maag, Putnam County SWCD technician recently acquired a USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) to investigate using a strip-tiller to incorporate fall fertilizer. Five demonstration sites consisting of 40 acres each were completed last week. The demonstrations are located around Ottawa (2), Glandorf, Kalida, and Pandora. Blanchard Valley Coop is assisting with the equipment for the demonstrations. The goal of the demonstration plots are to see if strip tillage with fall fertilizer application is a feasible method of producing no-till corn while reducing nutrient runoff, especially phosphorus movement to surface water. The plots used an Orthman® 1 trip strip tiller to place banded fertilizer 7 inches deep in a 10- inch tilled strip. In the spring, farmers would plant on the tilled strips in what is considered a stale seed bed. The advantage of this system is that the ferti

Blanchard River Flooding

In late August 2007, the Blanchard River watershed received between 7 - 9 inches of rainfall overnight and another 1.5 to 3 inches of rain the next day. Tremendous flooding in Findlay and Ottawa occurred; resulting in damaged homes, businesses, and lost property. This rainfall was considered a 100 year flood which is simply the probability of a heavy rainfall event occurring once every 100 years. However, these rare floods events seem to be occurring more often. Dr. Norm Fausey, USDA-ARS soil drainage scientist and I looked at two agricultural best management practices that might be used to reduce this flooding problem. Since agriculture accounts for 85% to 90% of the land area in the Blanchard River watershed, agriculture needs to be a part of the solution. Perhaps we should consider trying to deal with rainfall on a per acre basis basis versus waiting for the water to gain momentum and flow down the river? Overall, the goal should be to increase the water infiltration, increase water