SOIL CONSERVATION HAS LONG BEEN THE FOCUS FOR KEISHA ROSE TOPIC’S FAMILY FARM, R.A ROSE & SONS.
Since the 1980s, the Rose family have taken a ‘soil first’ approach to farming their Century Farm, established in 1873. This approach has included implementing soil conservation structures such as berms and waterways as needed, experimenting with mixed cover crops to improve soil health, extending rotations with two years of cover crop, as well as reducing soil erosion through strip cropping.
In an effort to reduce tillage, oats are planted once the fields are plowed in early fall. This helps the soil retain coverage through the winter months while also reduces further erosion due to high winds and cold temperatures.
The incorporation of Rose’s Organics in 2017 has seen acreage designated to grow certified organic potatoes on a three-year rotation, using no synthetic pesticides, fungicides, or fertilizers. The experience has been interesting for Keisha and her family, and with fewer inputs needed to ensure top soil heath, the addition of organic farming is proving to be a venture with many long-term benefits.
The fields Keisha farms are also where she and her family live; as caretakers of the soil, it is their job to ensure soil conservation is continually at the forefront of all farming practices.
It’s been this approach that has provided continued success for their family farm, and will see them continue to thrive for generations to come.