The Kittson SWCD would like to name their 2018 Outstanding Conservationist as Hapka Farms of Norway Township. Leon, Lance, and Jennifer Hapka are being recognized for their dedication to soil health and conservation through the efforts of variable rate fertilizer and irrigation, cover crops, minimal tillage, and many other practices.
Previously from the Argyle area, the Hapka’s have raised potatoes in Norway Township for decades on ground that was previously comprised of poor, sandy soil and very unproductive. By utilizing a rotation of potatoes, rye cover crop, and two years of corn, coupled with conservation-based farming practices, they have tripled the organic matter in their soil and increased microbial activity.
They have reduced wind and water erosion through cover crops and farmstead shelterbelts, built their soil by leaving residue and harvesting potatoes while the vines are still green, and supported both efforts with minimal tilling.
For more, see this week’s North Star News!