Conservation-tillage is a must for Virginia grower David Hula, making it work from both an economic and a conservation standpoint is critical.

With the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay a constant reminder, David, his brother John and father Stanley continue to do what they have done for several generations — be good stewards of the land. They own and operate Renwood Farms near Charles City, Va., which is recognized as one of America’s most historic farming operations.

Farming on the James River, one of the major tributaries that feeds into the Chesapeake Bay, puts the Hulas under a microscope, but it hasn’t stopped them from winning numerous grain yield awards — both in Virginia and nationally.

Along the way, they continue to prove that successful farming and successful management of the land, air and water can go hand-in-hand.

Hula says he is proud to say they can grow high yielding crops without any negative impact on the Chesapeake Bay. “We are spoon-feeding fertility to our crops, so we know it’s all being utilized.

“We have four dryland areas that have produced over 300 bushels of corn per acre. This year, three of those areas were planted to corn. Primarily because of the heat and drought, these areas did not have the potential to reach 300 bushels per acre. We recognized that early and adjusted our fertility program to match the crop potential,” Hula explains.

In addition, the rotation used by the Virginia growers insures that any fertility left over from the corn crop will be quickly used by wheat or other fall crops that follow corn.

One of the keys to making it all work, is having the right equipment to do the job, David Hula says.

During a recent tour of his farm, Hula went through a progression of the farm equipment used to produce crops.