Couple is convinced that conservation pays off

Ed and Mindy Svitak are partners in farming and in soil conservation projects. Courtesy photo
Ed and Mindy Svitak are partners in farming and in soil conservation projects. Courtesy photo

Ed Svitak?s beginning in soil conservation came when he convinced his grandfather, also named Edward, to build waterways and terraces in the fields with gullies they had to start farming around.

Since that first step, Ed and wife Mindy have completed a conservation plan on the entire 1,200 acres they farm.

Ed said to say ?they? because Mindy works the farm ground, too.

?She runs the combine, and helps out a lot,? he said.

His stepfather, Keith Conyers, also is involved in the farming operation.

The Svitaks are Banker Award winners for the Marion County Conserva?tion District honored at the Saturday banquet.

They have completed a conservation plan on all of their cropland fields. Svitak said that includes 23.8 acres of waterways, 45,648 feet of terraces and 500 feet of pipe for outlets.

He has converted his farm operation to no-till and is considering what cover crops he might add to his crop rotation.

Wheat is the predominant crop he plants, Svitak said, but his rotation also includes corn, soybeans and sunflowers, especially if he double crops them after wheat.

Sometimes, Svitak said, he no-till plants wheat into wheat stubble.

?But you can?t keep it in wheat,? he said, ?because then you get cheat grass problems.?

His waterways are planted to brome grass, which is hayed.

If there?s anything he?s discovered in farming, Svitak said, it?s that conservation pays.