Conservation Legacy Award regional winners announced

The program recognizes U.S. soybean farmers who practice outstanding environmental and conservation methods. | File photo

The regional winners of the 2016 Conservation Legacy Awards were announced by the American Soybean Association (ASA) this month. 

The winners were Andy Winsor of Winsor Farms in Grantville, Kansas representing the Midwest Region; Cory Atkins from Seaford, Delaware representing the Northeast Region; and John Verell from Jackson, Tennessee representing the South Region. The three will be recognized, and one chosen as national winner, on March 4 at the ASA Awards Banquet as part of the Commodity Classic in New Orleans.

The program recognizes U.S. soybean farmers who practice outstanding environmental and conservation methods.

Windsor Farms has practiced soil and water conservation for three generations on its 4,400 acres in northeastern Kansas. They have faced challenges ranging from sandy soil to soil erosion. 

“Grandpa and Dad started conservation efforts, building terraces and waterways and farming on the contour,” Windsor said. “Having those practices in place allows my brother and me to implement newer conservation techniques, such as water management and cover crops.”

Atkins focuses his conservation efforts on making his farm completely "never till." He has completed the task with his grain crops and is close to being 100 percent on his vegetables, although he admits watermelons and green beans are a struggle. He has had success with lima beans.

“Cover crops and no-till are the core of my conservation program, and to me, conservation is a big part of the total management package on the land I farm.” Atkins said.

Verell, along with his dad and grandfather, farm their 4,500 acres with variable rate fertilizer and grass buffer strips along streams on his property.

“Back then, we analyzed soil samples and used [the normalized difference vegetation index] to pick up different vegetative growth patterns in our fields. We saw the need for variable rate fertilizer, and started that while I was still in school,” Verrell said. “We still use it – to this day, Granddad thinks variable rate fertilizer has increased our yield and added to our bottom line more than any other change we have made in the operation.”

Organizations in this story

American Soybean Association 12125 Woodcrest Executive Dr St Louis, MO 63141

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