Diepenbrock extends tradition of saving soil

Tyler Diepenbrock of Durham is this year?s winner of the Marion County Conservation District Young Conserva?tion Farmer Award for his use of EQIP program funds to replace old terraces with a new terrace system on 160 acres he purchased.

As with many young farmers, when you talk to Diepenbrock you easily can get the impression that he has been farming for 27 years when in fact, he is 27 years old.

He?s just been farming with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Diepenbrock, his entire life.

And he?s still farming with them. Tyler Diepenbrock owns some of his own machinery, but he and his father trade machinery and labor to keep the entire operation going.

He was an FFA student at Centre High School.

The 160 acres is Diepen?brock?s first independent purchase, and he said he has no immediate plans to acquire more land. The land is located a mile north and 31?2 miles east of Durham.

Diepenbrock said he doesn?t keep livestock, but consistently raises soybeans, corn and wheat.

With his focus on crops, he uses a rotation of two years of no-till followed by a year of deep tillage.

?It keeps the soil loose down deep,? he said. ?It?s a way that works for us.?

Diepenbrock said when he bought the land a little more than a year ago, it had a terrace system built in the early 1970s, and was washing over in heavy rains. It wasn?t maintained, so it was functioning incorrectly to cause soil loss.

Diepenbrock used EQIP to fund building 3.5 acres of terraces. Now, he said, the land drains correctly, keeping soil held in place.

EQIP, which stands for Environmental Quality Incen?tives Program, offers financial and technical help to assist eligible participants install or implement structural and management conservation practices on eligible agricultural land.

?There?s something different every day,? Diepenbrock said about farming. ?I help my parents. There?s some crops I?d like to grow more. They own some things, and I own some things. It all works out.?

The Young Conservation Farmer Award is sponsored by UMB Bank of Abilene.

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