2014 4R Advocate Winner Spotlight: Brand Dairy Farm and The Andersons
Each year, we recognize exceptional examples of on-farm environmental stewardship practices through our 4R Advocate Award Program. Now in its third year, we recently showcased the exceptional examples of nutrient stewardship efforts at the 2014 Commodity Classic.
The 2014 4R Advocate Award winners are selected based on their efforts to protect the environment, boost profitability and benefit society through 4R nutrient stewardship (using the right nutrient source, at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place). Growers are nominated by their retailers, who are also recognized for their standout efforts on the farm using fertilizer best management practices.
In today’s post, we’re shining a light on one of our 2014 4R Advocate Award winner grower and retailer pairs: Brand Dairy Farm and the nominating retailer, The Andersons.
George and David Brand of Waterloo, Ind., run Brand Dairy Farm, a 400-head dairy herd operation with about 900 head of cattle on the farm at all times, as well as 2,500 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and hay. George and David were nominated by their retailer facility, The Andersons, and crop advisor Terry Bechman.
Brand Dairy Farm has implemented several outstanding nutrient management practices including nutrient tracking and analysis to better understand nutrient use over their entire operation. George and David track manure nutrient application and timing and analyze the manure’s nutrient content through twice-yearly testing. They also conduct annual grid soil sampling to monitor overall fertility levels. Cover crops are also a part of their strategy, they plant a combination of ryegrass, radishes and crimson clover which is then used in spring as silage for dairy herd.
Since 1990, Brand Dairy has used no-till on all production acres to reduce soil erosion and enhance overall soil quality. They’ve also utilized grassed waterways to reduce erosion, including adding grass filter strips along open ditches, and installing multiple water and sediment control basins to slow surface runoff and reduce overall nutrient and sediment loss.
Next week, we will highlight Jackson Wortman, LLC and Crop Production Services.