by Nan Hammel
ISDA Resource Specialist
The Wabash County Soil & Water Conservation District will host a field day at the Wabash County Farm on Thursday, Nov. 14 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The focus of the field day will be cover crops and the new conservation practices that have been installed at the Wabash County Farm. Jamie Scott will be there to talk about cover crops and the County Farm cover crop plot in the field south of the lane. Jamie and his family are the owners and operators of J.A. Scott Farms in Kosciusko County near Pierceton, IN. He and his family have coordinated cover crop aerial seeding in an eight-county area for the last three years, resulting in 16,000-planted acres. Scot Haley, the NRCS Northeast Area Resource Soil Scientist, will be there to cover the topic of soil health as we look at different soil pits on the property. Andrew Parsifal, an NRCS Agricultural Engineer from the Huntington Technical Service Team, will present on the design of the drainage water management system installed at the County Farm.
After the Wabash County Farm was selected as a Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative regional training hub farm last year, the Wabash County Soil and Water Conservation District Board and the County Commissioners decided to fund the installation of some new conservation practices at the farm. In the field south of the lane, a drainage water management system has been installed. The main tile runs along the lane with 5 laterals running south to north into the main. The water control structure is located at the east end of the field before the main drainage tile outlets into the small wetland area by the barn. AgriDrain and Fratco donated the water control structure and drainage tile for this project.
In the larger field to the North of the lane, a system of four water and sediment control basins, or Wascobs, is being installed. They are farmable earthen ridges that pool surface water and any eroding sediment along gullying areas in field. Each ridge also has an outlet tile that will drain the pooled surface water within 24 hours of its collection. At the north end of the field, a grassed waterway has been rebuilt with a new drainage tile as the previous one was in disrepair. Through the installation of these conservation practices, the Soil & Water Conservation District hopes to showcase these best management practices in reducing gully erosion, managing the water table and field drainage, and improving the soil health on the farm.