Agerbright’s Conservation Overhaul
18,556Partners: The Watershed Foundation, Indiana Department of Enviromental Management, Indiana DNR-Lake and River Enchancement Program, Whitley County Soil and Water Conservation District
About this project
Jim Agerbright in Whitley County has numerous conservation practices in place with help through The Watershed Foundation, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Whitley County Soil and Water Conservation District, as well as the Indiana Department of Natural Resources – Lake and River Enhancement Programs. Jim has planted cover crops as well as implemented no-till farming. Along with, installing Water and Sediment Control Basins with tile to help with sediment and water control. As well as wetland creation and restoration with tree and shrub plantings. He does all of this with conjunction with a nutrient and pest management program to help manage his ground.
Jim Argerbright owns 175 acres of farm land in Whitley County. Jim shares management of the land with other farmers, and makes decisions based on what’s good for the land and his bottom line.
Jim uses cover crops, no-till practices, and WASCOBs to help keep the soil on his fields.
“You’ve got to take care of soil erosion,” Jim said. “It doesn’t get better unless you address it.”
Jim says erosion on his fields has improved since investing in conservation. “We don’t get wash outs like we used to,” he said. The cover crops have also helped ease compaction.
Cover crops and no-till take time to learn, Jim said. As farmers become more acquainted and confident with cover crops, they realize it works, he said.
In addition to management practices on the farm, Jim manages the landscape around his fields and home to improve wildlife habitat, slow down water, and improve the soil. Jim has 21 acres in wetland reserve and a few acres of planted prairie. The Watershed Foundation helped Jim put in a second wetland next to some of his fields.
“Aquifers are drying up,” Jim said. “We need wetlands to help restore and protect our aquifers.”
Wetlands also provide rich wildlife habitat that Jim and his wife enjoy, he said. At night, Jim likes to watch over 300 wood ducks flock to the wetland. He hunts some, but mostly likes to watch, he said.
“We’ve got to have farmers and grain fields and we’ve got to have [wetlands],” Jim said.