Warren Johnson, Jr owns Prairie Creek Farm which is mainly grain and livestock. It is located in the Iroquois River Watershed. Crops are corn, soybeans and wheat along with some alfalfa. The Johnsons also have a 30 head cow/calf operation and feed out between 20-30 calves annually. Ditch bank CRP and grassed waterways have helped them to curb or stop sediment from building up in open ditches and streams. They has also helped block or filter out chemicals and fertilizer or manure that may have flowed into open water. Wildlife and future sustainability are very important to the family. They believe strongly in being able to maintain the farm profitability without ruining local natural ecosystem. Crop rotations and diversification helps to naturally build soil structure. Small grains, such as wheat, add residue to the soil profile. Alfalfa and native grasses also naturally benefit soils. Crop rotation aid in preventing resistant weeds and in helping to limit tillage passes. Johnson also uses no-till, minimum tillage, cover crops and rotational grazing for pastures.
Larry Strole (deceased) owned Strole Grain Farms which is a corn, soybeans, wheat, custom hay and straw bailing operation located in the Iroquois Watershed. Larry Strole, who was a Newton County Soil & Water Conservation District and Indiana Association of Soil & Water Conservation District board member for many years, was an avid conservationist. He used waterways and filter strips for approximately 20 years to slow down runoff. He also used no-till and cover crops to protect the soil and prevent soil erosion. Strole incorporated filter strips, to keep nutrients out of the ditches and streams. Grass waterways helped prevent soil erosion from areas where the water would flow. Rotational cropping, no-till and cover crops protect and build soil structure and organic matter. No-till allows the soil to build and maintain soil structure. Cover crops help capture nutrients in the soil and hold on to them for the next crop. The organic matter is growing as we continue to sue no-till and cover crops. The roots have been able to go deeper. Strole found rye roots as deep as 4 feet. Bonnie Strole (wife) and Mike Osowski (nephew) in picture.