Wentzel Family Farm named Outstanding Conservationists

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Pictured are members of the Wentzel Family Farm.

The Swift County Soil and Water Conservation District has named Wentzel Family Farm as the 2016 Outstanding Conservationists. Wentzel Family Farm consists of Melvin and Elaine, Craig and Bonnie and Todd and Shari Wentzel of DeGraff.

The Wentzels farm about 2800 acres each year, which mainly consists of a corn and soybean rotation, with about 10% planted to wheat each year. Putting some wheat in the rotation enables them to more easily manage the weeds and pests that may be persistent in the fields.

The landscape that Wentzels farm is diverse and has a variety of soil types that require additional management to be able to maintain healthy soils while reducing erosion. Because of the diversity of soils and landscapes Wentzels will use less aggressive tillage equipment on lighter soils such as reduced tillage or no till in the fall. On their heavier flat soils a more aggressive tillage, like the use of vertical tillage, can be used for erosion and runoff control.

In 2016 Wentzels were successful in getting accepted into the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). As part of the program, they selected enhancements on their operation to meet resource concerns identified in a resource assessment of the annual farming practices conducted on their farm. Through this assessment some of the practices the Wentzels selected are the use of drift reducing nozzles, GPS accuracy when applying herbicides and pesticides, and using plant tissue tests and analysis to improve nitrogen management on their fields....


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Pictured are members of the Wentzel Family Farm, which was selected as the 2016 Outstanding Conservationists.  The Wentzel Family Farm includes Melvin and Elaine Wentzel (middle), Craig and Bonnie Wentzel, and Todd and Shari Wentzel.

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