What is in this article?:
- South Carolina grower wins Conservation Legacy Award
- Acts as a solvent
- Helps with moisture, erosion
- Balances land with nature
• The Conservation Legacy Awards Program is a national program designed to recognize outstanding environmental and conservation achievements by U.S. soybean farmers.
• Selection is based on each farmer’s environmental and economic efforts on their farm.
• There are three regional winners, from which a national winner will be chosen and announced at an awards banquet to be held at the Commodity Classic in Nashville, Tenn., in March 2012.
CULLEN BRYANT, South Region Conservation Legacy winner, uses soy biodiesel in all his vehicles.
Helps with moisture, erosion
“Any time we do not disturb the soil, it helps with moisture and erosion control and building the tilth of the soil. We are spread over a 20-25 mile area, and we try to look at the best ways in terms of tillage and all production practices to maximize yields and minimize stress to our land,” he says.
Bryant Farms is in a hot-spot for glyphosate resistant pigweed and the long-term conservation tillage practices on his farm have likely lowered the incidence of resistant pigweed problems. “Any time we have to till a spot of land, weeds seem to flourish. “I’m not sure whether seed are there and dormant, or exactly what is going on with weeds, but we definitely see an increase in weeds when we have to till,” he says.
“I believe in starting clean and staying clean and there is no doubt conservation-tillage has helped us do that,” Bryant says. If pigweed escapes chemicals, then we will hand pull uncontrolled pigweed.
Bryant learned early in his life to hunt and grew up with a father who liked to quail hunt. Remembering how plentiful quail had been at one time and how they are now facing extinction in some parts of the South, he was quick to participate in the federal Quail Habitat Program.
In this program, the farmer provides food and suitable habitat for quail. He disks one-third of the habitat area each year. Quail have to have food and water, but they also have to have a secure nesting or housing area to protect them from natural predators, he explains.
The program is working, he says. Though quail haven’t returned to the numbers he saw growing up on the farm, the native population is growing to the point that you see a wild covey of birds every once in awhile.
Bryant is a member of National Wild Turkey Federation and Ducks Unlimited and is in the process of expanding some small on-farm ponds to improve habitat for ducks. Last year Bryant Farms hosted a ‘green-wing’ event for Ducks Unlimited Youth Program.
Greenwings are the youth Ducks Unlimited members who participate in the conservation, restoration and management of wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl. These habitats also benefit other wildlife and people.