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The effort to improve the water quality with installation of drainage lines and structures during the 2013 Review by OLICA.

Plenty to see at Farm Science Review

By the show’s very nature, visitors can always expect to see the most up-to-date research, equipment and technology at the Farm Science Review.

As always, there will be a number of other interesting and fairly new features to check out at this year’s Farm Science Review.

Water quality research

Recent heavy rains in the Midwest stress the need for proper water management plans like that of the Farm Science Review’s year-round effort to improve the water quality at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center, which will be emphasized with the continuing installation of drainage lines and structures during the 2013 Review by the Ohio Land Improvement Contractors Association (OLICA).

“We have actually already started testing the water that is coming out of our drainage lines,” Sullivan said. “We’re testing Deer Creek before any water goes in from our tile and we then test the water after it leaves our farm. The objective is to find out where a raindrop goes when it hits our farm, what happens to it and are we losing nutrients.”

This systems approach to evaluating water allows research at FSR to begin at the application of nutrients to growing and harvesting the crop and then seeing what the water quality is at the end of a season.

When rainfall comes in buckets, it has a huge impact on water quality. If a farmer overlooks soil conservation and erosion occurs, soil particles go directly downstream. To find resolutions to that issue, the Farm Science Review has been able to work with their Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) ground to improve waterways.

“As far as drainage ditch design is concerned, we are working with ag engineers at Ohio State, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and soil and water to put in a new ditch,” Sullivan said. “When you drive into the Review this year, you will see brand new ditch. This is a way to show farmers how to improve ditch design and it will hopefully allow farmers to understand some of the different techniques they can use on their farm to improve water quality down the line.”

It won’t take long for someone attending this year’s Farm Science Review to see that it is much more than tires and livestock. The technologies that will be displayed aren’t meant for the farms of tomorrow, they can easily be put to work on farms today.

 

New grain storage project

In a new grain storage project, the Farm Science Review hopes to increase grain storage capacity by 90% to allow trend level yields to fill the bins in the future.

“You have to remember, the Farm Science Review is limited to the acres we farm at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center,” said Chuck Gamble, Farm Science Review manager. “We do not intend to grow acres.  However, we intend to continue pushing yields.”

The plan is to demolish the existing storage facility and incorporate a new higher capacity pit and leg and a new style of tower that is 105 feet tall. The end result will be much more corn and soybean storage capacity, and improved grain handling, a dump pit, and leg.

Phase 1 of the project includes the addition of a 55,000-bushel commercial corn bin manufactured by Brock that will expand to 72,000 bushels for future growth. This is scheduled for completion by Nov. 1.

Phase 2 is scheduled to begin early winter and to be completed by Aug. 1, 2014. This portion of the project includes the demolition of the 10,000-bushel Behlen bin, pit, leg and grain pump and replacing them with a 46,000 commercial soybean bin manufactured by Brock, a new Lowry DumPit, a 105-foot HSI Bucket Elevator and a 105-foot Union Iron support tower.

The products and work will be sourced and performed by MRC Sales and Service of London working in conjunction with Thomas and Marker Construction of Bellefontaine, who will serve as the general contractor.

“At this year’s show, I am hopeful the area will be prepped and a concrete pad for the corn bin is poured and curing,” Gamble said. “Construction of the bin is to shortly follow the show and people will be able to see the entire new set up at the 2014 show.”

 

 

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