|David Brandt's farm in Carroll next on state tour list|
|Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff|
|Tuesday, 20 August 2013 09:31|
The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association's 2013 free public farm tour series continue next Tuesday in Fairfield County with a tour of Brandt's Farm from 6 to 8 p.m.
David Brandt is one of Ohio's foremost cover crop experts and has been promoting conservation on his farm for more than 40 years. He recently spoke at the Cover Crops Day event held at the Northwest Ohio Research Station near Hoytville. For those who were there and want to learn more, or for those that missed his talk, this tour may be of interest.
Brandt is president of the Ohio No-Till Council and was named Ag Man of the Year by Ohio Farmer in 2011. He farms 1,250 acres of corn, soy, wheat, and hay; raises livestock; and grows five acres of produce for sale at farmers' markets.
A no-till farmer since 1971, Brandt has been using cover crops extensively since 1978. During that time, he has reduced chemical inputs on his farm by 70 percent, and eliminated all chemicals on some of his land. At the same time, he says he's also increasing the organic matter in his soil by up to 1 percent per year, improving water infiltration and reducing run off, and achieving higher yields.
"Cutting back on commercial inputs has been a tough one for me, because we've always been taught we need so many pounds of nitrogen, phosphorus and potash to grow a decent corn crop," Brandt told the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Adding, "We're learning now with cover crops that we don't need to buy those additional nutrients because we can bring them up from deeper in the soil. They just weren't available to the crop before."
He is currently participating in Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education funded research into nitrogen fixing cover crops and an NRCS grant to study how cover crop species transport nutrients to the soil's surface.
"I'm trying to pass on what we've learned here. I don't want everyone to reinvent the wheel. I want people to see our failures and our successes," he told NRCS.
Join the farm owner for a twilight tour as he shares his innovative cover cropping techniques and the tremendous impact they have had on his farm.
This tour is part of the 2013 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series featuring free public tours of some of Ohio's finest sustainable and organic farms.
Seventeen tours and workshops, are being held between June and November. They are being sponsored by OEFFA. The series is promoted in cooperation with the Ohio State University Sustainable Agriculture Team and the Coalition of Ohio Land Trusts, who are sponsoring additional tours.
Videos of Brandt speaking about his cover crops are available at http://www.walnutcreekseeds.com/videos-and-links/
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