Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Farmer Sees Benefits from Conservation Practices

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Farmer Sees Benefits from Conservation Practices

Article excerpt

APACHE (JR) - For Alan Mindemann, owner and operator of Apache Seed Farms near Apache in southwest Oklahoma, being a good steward of the land is not something to be taken lightly.

It is a driving force behind the decisions he makes on his farm every day. His great-grandpa settled near Apache in 1920 and the family has farmed in the area since.

"I had always been involved, farming in addition to off-the-farm jobs until I went full time in 1995," Mindemann said. "I started no- till in the very beginning and we've grown to where we are today."

Sound conservation practices have been important to Mindemann's success.

"On my farm, I have proven that the right thing for the land, and for the community as a whole - clean water and clean air, is also the most profitable thing to do," he said

As a dry-land farmer, he makes sure the soil is able to capitalize on the moisture it receives. There are years when rain falls in abundance and there are years it does not fall at all.

He uses no-till production and rotates a variety of cover crops to keep his soil in peak condition. After the abundance of rain that fell in the summer of 2015, Alan saw firsthand the benefits of his conservation programs.

"We have much, much less runoff because of better infiltration rates," Mindemann said. "If we have flooding like we did in May, when we received 22 inches of rain in the month, we don't lose our soil. Even if water runs over our fields, which it actually did in several locations where creeks flooded, the soil stays put."

Maintaining the quality and health of the soil has other benefits as well.

"We began using cover crops in 2005 as an erosion control measure and a nutrient cycling scheme," he said. "Allowing crops to return nutrients to the soil naturally means we use fewer chemical inputs."

"As far as pesticide and herbicide use, it's all a bare- minimum," he said. …

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