Ackleys encourage cover crops
Dean Adkins - Fri, 14 Sep 2012 16:01:32 CDT
(Bedford)---When it comes to soil conservation, there are those who "talk the talk", and there are those who "walk the walk". Paul Ackley can do both. He and his wife, Nancy, practice what they preach on their farm around 3 miles southeast of Bedford. Paul and Nancy have four children: Shelly (and her husband, John), Donnette, Carla and Sarah. They also enjoy spending time with their four grandchildren.
Along with managing their row crop Paul and Nancy keep busy with their Red Angus cross cow/calf herd. On the crops side, Paul says area farmers are averaging around 90 bushels to the acre for corn as the Ackleys will get going with their corn harvest any day now.
Paul learned about the positives of soil conservation through his parents, Lou and Wilda, along with some good neighbors who practiced soil conservation techniques back when Paul was growing up in the fifties and sixties.
These days Paul and Nancy are touting the benefits of cover crops in their corn/soybean/wheat rotation. Cereal rye, wheat, winter peas, radishes, turnips, sunflowers, forage sorghum, sun hempand crimson clover are predominantly the cover crops the Ackleys have employed over the years to cut down on soil erosion and greatly enhance the soil's microbials.
Paul says cover crops work in harmony with no-till practices which have been instituted on the Ackley farm for many years. Streams on the farm are straddled by Riparian Buffer Strips and along with shallow water wetlands, area wildlife enjoys abundant cover to not only survive but flourish. Speaking of wildlife, in his spare time Paul enjoys hunting deer and wild turkey while going fishing with Nancy is a favorite pastime as well.
If you'd like to visit with Paul about the benefits of cover crops and other methods of proactive soil conservation, feel free to give him a call at 712-621-1040 or contact your local NRCS representative.