Monthly Board Meetings:
The District Board meets at the SCD office, 313 N Parkway, the
2nd Tuesday of every month. The meetings begin at 7:00 am and the
public is welcomed to attend.
International Soybean Consortium Visits Griggs
Tuesday, August 27 -
This summer a small group
from Europe interested in Soybeans took a road trip to the States. The
trip included a visit to the farm of Matt & Kelly Griggs. The group was headed by Eugene Philhower, Regional Representative of the U. S. Soybean Export Council.
Guests of Mr. Philhower included farming advocates representing various farming
publications from Belgium and Germany, representatives of the Belgian and
Germany Feed Associations, and Alex Miller, Commercial Manager for
Cargill's soy operations in UK/Ireland and Benelux. The group was accompanied by
State Conservationist Sheldon Hightower, Public Affairs
Specialist Katherine Burse and Area Conservationist Curt McDaniel. Everyone met
at Matt's shop where Matt & Kelly welcomed the group and gave an overview of
their farming operation. After the introduction the group boarded a trailer to
tour stands of cotton, corn and soybeans. Matt led his European visitors into standing
corn plots where he has been conducting cover crop research. As Matt dug into
he discussed the many benefits of cover crops and addressed several
questions from members of the group. Matt credited the soil's dark brown layer to the
increase of soil organic matter resulting from his intensive use of cover crops. After the visit the group posed for a group pictures before heading to Charlie
Roberts farm in Lauderdale County.
District Hosts Local Cover
Crop - Soil Health Meeting
Wednesday, Feb. 27th -
On Feb. 27th thirty-five
attended a winter cover soil health meeting held at our office which is shared
with NRCS. Farmers from Madison, Chester, Gibson, and Lauderdale Counties
attended. Marty Hinson with Cannon Packaging provided guests with coffee, juice,
ham and biscuits, and chicken and biscuits. Sheldon Hightower introduced himself
to the group as NRCS's new State Conservationist. Tyson Raper, a cotton
specialist with UT, reported on cover crop field studies UT has been conducting.
Dr. Lloyd Murdock explained how fragipans were formed, how common they are, and
why and how they severely lower yields. Dr. Murdock shared test results the
University of Kentucky has been doing on the use of annual Ryegrass to remediate
fragipans. Unlike traffic pans, fragipans, "pans", are naturally occurring
cemented layers of soil that virtually stop water movement and root growth. Such
pans are common in west Tennessee and affects 20% of Madison County Soils.
Depending on the amount of soil erosion pans in Madison County can start as
shallow as the surface or start as deep as 36 inches. Deep pans have practically
no affects on crops while shallow pans can make crop production unprofitable.
Although shallow pans can be temporarily disrupted by plowing they quickly
cement back. Plowing is probably not a good remedy since that is usually why the
pans are so near the surface. Ryegrass produces an abundance of roots. Many of
the roots are capable of going several inches deep within the growing season.
These roots create a chemical that dissolves the pan as they find their way
through week points in the pan. The research Dr. Murdock and UK has done is
promising. Dr. Murdock's presentation peeked the interest of everyone in the
room. Anyone interested in cover crops and soil health is encouraged to attend
our meetings. Cost-share money to seed cover crops is available through the
District and NRCS.
Madison County SCD Annual Banquet
Over 100 guests attended our Awards & Appreciation Banquet.
This was Allen Verells' last time to host the District banquet as he declined to
run for reelection to the board. Everyone was treated to a steak or chicken dinner.
Sheldon Hightower introduced himself as NRCS's new State Conservationist. Mr.
Hightower gave a brief talk on NRCS work in Tennessee. Guest speaker, Matt
Griggs, spoke on his experience growing cover crops to improve his soil
properties. Daniel Graves was recognized as the District's
Outstanding Cooperator of 2018 (article follows). At the conclusion of
the meeting there was a drawing for the 20 potted plants that decorated the
tables, along with the head table centerpiece from Sand's Old Hickory Florist, and 4, $25 gift cards from Four
Madison County SCD District Cooperator of the Year
February 26th -
Daniel Graves was honored
at the District's Awards and Appreciation Banquet, being recognized by the
District as their 2018 Outstanding Cooperator.
closely with the District and NRCS to protect and conserve his cropland in North Madison County. He rotates his crops, soil tests regularly, practices precision
agriculture, and has been no-tilling for several years. His cropland has several conservation practices that
he maintains. In the past few years he has installed several erosion and water
control practices including terraces, grade control structures, and basins.
To protect his soil from erosion and to improve his soil properties Daniel has
been planting a mix blend of winter hardy plants after fall harvest. Daniel attends
winter cover - soil health meetings to learn from others and
to share his cover crop experience.
RESULTS - Madison County SCD Board of Supervisors
Feb. 20 - 22
The State Soil Conservation Committee held the
Madison County SCD board election on Feb. 20th, 21st, and 22nd. Allen Verell and Don Pearson declined to run for another three year term. Allen had
served on the board for 24 years while Don had served for 6 years. Alan Ewell
was reelected to a second 3 year term. Chris Couch and Matt Griggs were elected
to the board for the first time. Alan, Chris, and Matt will served on the board
with Don Johnson and Joel Haynes who were appointed to the board by the State
Soil Conservation Committee.