Blackwater Soil and Water Conservation District
My wife Ann and I have been married 43 years. Together, we have a daughter, Kelly, a son, Levi, and three grandchildren. I started farming in 1972 with Findley Farm and we are now Wild Boar Farms. My son Levi and I farm 260 acres of land that have been in the family over 90 years, as well as lease 350 acres of crop land and 900 acres of woodland hunting land. I am 1st Vice President of the Association of Florida Conservation Districts and Vice President of Blackwater Soil and Water Conservation District, which I have served for 20 years. I am also Vice President of Three Rivers RC&D located in Santa Rosa County, Florida.
Soil Health Practices:
We farm cotton, peanuts, corn and wheat-oats for cover crops. We use no till, strip till, and precision farming in our tillage, spraying and fertilizer applications. In the last few years we have incorporated clover into our cover crops as well as a cover mix of ten different seeds for cool season mix. We started 20 years ago with a ripper-leveler and no till and then added to our operation as we learned more about different concepts. My main concern was in the spring with wind erosion where dust became a problem for the entire community. And with an average of 60 inches of rain per year, water erosion was also a problem.
With each new practice we have to learn how tillage, planting and harvests will work. Most of our endeavors have showed us great benefit, but it has been a learning experience.
With invasive plants getting worse in our area, I am afraid that some operators might drift away from soil health practices to combat invasive species. As for my operation, we continue to research and try out cover crop combinations that increase the soil health and profitability on our land.