Berea College Crops & Maintenance

Website: www.berea.edu/anr/collegefarms.asp

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Berea College Field Crops and Maintenance Management Team is currently managed by students William E. Nicely and Darrin P. McKinney under the direction of the Berea College’s Organic Farm Coordinator, Derek M. Law.

The Berea College Farm is approximately 600 acres, of which 400 are used for crops and pasture. The balance is in buildings, roads, and forest. The Crops Team grows 200 acres of crops (corn, soybeans, wheat, rye, alfalfa, clover, and grass). The team manages the agronomic aspects of production on 200 acres of pasture, including soil fertility, over-seeding with legumes, occasional hay harvest, and reseeding grasses. Pastures are primarily fescue-clover mixtures, but we also have some native grass (Eastern gamagrass).

Soil conservation is a major emphasis of the management. We use minimum and no-till production practices to limit erosion and we use crop rotations to improve soil structure. Annual tests are done to assess soil fertility on pastures and cropland. We grow hybrid corn, but we avoid GMO varieties. We also sell a small amount of soybeans that we grow on the farm.

Under the guidance of Derek M. Law, Berea College Farm is in the process of turning a little under 90 acres of land into organic crop production. These organic fields will be used to grow a multitude of crops including corn and nitrogen fixating legumes that will be used to better the land and to increase the farm hay supply.

The Crops Team is also responsible for vehicle, tractor, and equipment maintenance for the whole farm. We produce the majority of corn needed for the hogs, cattle (hay and silage), and goats (hay).

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