Grand Meadow Farms, LLC
Oldham County Conservation District
Kentucky Representative on NACD’s Board of Directors
Kevin, his brother-in-law Mike McCall, and nephew David McCall, farm in partnership in north central Kentucky. Together they grow corn, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa on their 1200-acre “Centennial Farm” and have used 100 percent no-till for 25 years. The three also manage a cow/calf operation on 200 acres of land not suitable for crop production.
Using no-till in their BT variety corn fields has presented some challenges. “The stalk integrity is much greater and they don’t break down as quickly as the older varieties,” Kevin said. “We have started looking at some attachments we can incorporate on our combine that will help us to get the stalks to break down in less time.”
The men use other conservation practices as well. For one, Kevin used NRCS EQIP funding and state cost-share dollars to run city water to their cattle lots. Within the lots, the team fenced off all of the creeks and ponds and planted buffers around them to minimize nutrient runoff. The team also is on “a strict rotation” of their row crops to keep various pests and weeds under better control. In the future, Kevin says he’s considering planting covers best suited to his area to control some of the winter soil erosion he’s discovered on his soybean acres.
“One issue we have is trying to keep our spray operators from spraying out our grass waterways that we have established on all of our owned and leased acres,” Kevin said. “It seems like our waterways get smaller from one year to the next, which then sets us up for erosion to start in those areas.”
“Our area of Kentucky is challenged with steep slopes, soils that are prone to erosion, and very wet winters, too,” Kevin continued. “All these issues create problems for us in controlling soil losses and nutrient loading in our waterways. NRCS, along with our conservation district and universities, have been great resources for us as we work to overcome these challenges.”