Being from Callaway, Keith and Jordan Carlson can be likened to the conservation leaders Aldo Leopold or Hugh Hammond Bennett.
They are continuous no-till, continuous cover crop leaders with all the acres no-tilled for 15 years. These conservation practices account for the greatest protection against potential erosion by wind or water.
They received an honor Friday from the Nebraska Chapter of Soil and Water Conservation Society, which met in Gothenburg.
The Carlson's have incorporated Australia’s dry land cool season small grain/warm season grass model to double crop maximizing diversity, income, and winter cover habitat for wildlife. They utilize many cover crop species, including field peas in rotation that give a great residual effect on the next year’s crop.
Jordan has a five-year-old moderately sloped sod busted field where he no-till planted into the grass, utilizing a diverse rotation and cover crops. He has maintained 5% organic matter for five years with high yielding crops. The diversity in the rotations in combination with no-tilling and cover crops has eliminated the need for insecticides and reduced the need for herbicide.
All acres are grid sampled and split spoon fed including organic sources of nutrients. Keith and Jordan use cover crops to scavenge late season nitrogen documented by NRCS at the rate of 100 pounds per acre. The potential for leaching or runoff of agricultural chemicals is extremely low.
Keith is involved with Ray Ward in a five-year study to investigate the potential for reducing Ward Laboratory’s nitrogen recommendation. Keith is also involved in the NRCS Haney project with a high soil health Haney score of 11.66. His soil health score on cropland exceeds that of native range in excellent range condition.