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Farms utilize conservation practices

Soil structure is examined during the Indian Creek Watershed Tour on the Terry Bachtold farm / CIFN photo.

Two area farms were featured during this summer’s Indian Creek Watershed field tour in southern Livingston County.

The benefits of cover crops were discussed at the Terry Bachtold farm. The crops were seeded in June so farmers could see the different varieties in action. A nearby soil pit showed how cover crops can improve soil health.

“Hopefully everybody learned something on the stop,” said Bachtold.

Jim Ifft’s farm was the second tour stop. Ifft did a broadcast application of cover crops into 12-inch corn earlier in the season. This is a new innovative method growers are trying.

“There are some innovative practices that we looked at and there are a lot of neat things you can do with cover crops,” explained Chad Watts, executive director for the Conservation Technology Information Center.

The Indian Creek project is being used as a springboard to a larger scale effort known as the Vermilion Headwaters Project. Watts hopes for success with the new venture. In August, CTIC will travel to the desert of Idaho to examine the various cropping systems and the challenges facing agriculture in that part of the country.

According to CTIC, the Indian Creek Watershed Project is an innovative approach to on-farm conservation systems adoption. It includes real farmers implementing conservation systems while still making a living from their operation, on-farm research which demonstrates and measures success of new techniques and a support network for area farmers.

More information can be found online at or by visiting with Terry Bachtold at the Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District.

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