Lance and Katrina Hapka of Hapka Farms were recently honored as outstanding conservationists at the annual meeting of the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, December 9-11, 2018 in Bloomington, Minn. They were selected by the Kittson Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) for the award.
Each year, the state’s SWCDs recognize individuals and organizations for outstanding accomplishments in implementing conservation practices and improving Minnesota’s natural resources. The award program is conducted with support from The Farmer magazine.
According to Jamie Osowski, District Manager at the Kittson SWCD, the Hapka’s were 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.
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!