OC’s Crabtree Farms receives Conservation Farmer of the Year
Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 8:00 pm
Ronnie, Karen and Jason Crabtree, owners and operators of Crabtree Farms in Obion County, were presented the Conservation Farmer of the Year award at the Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts’ Annual Convention in Jackson.
This award is made to a district cooperator for accomplishments in soil erosion reduction, improvement in water quality and control of sediment or other pollutants.
The Crabtrees own 360 acres and farm a total of 1,437 acres in a corn and soybean rotation with wheat cover crops. Eight hundred acres utilizes conservation tillage. They use precision agriculture techniques on every acre of their operation, with variable rate lime and fertilizer and auto swath applications.
The Crabtrees have been approved for the Conservation Stewardship Program and will complete residue management, cover crop, plant tissue sampling and improved nutrient management enhancements on their already first-class farm management.
The Crabtrees have 19 acres of grassed waterways, with most of the waterways being installed at their expense with no cost share dollars.
Crabtree Farms also participates in the Conservation Reserve Program and boasts filter strips, waterways and field borders in introduced and native warm season grasses. Total conservation buffers exceed 76 acres. Ronnie Crabtree also has a Bermuda grass field for hay production.
Since 1997, Crabtree Farms has been operating a four-house pullet poultry operation at their headquarters. Ronnie and Karen Crabtree said they felt they should diversify the operation when Tyson Foods arrived in Obion County in the 1990s. They have the important task of raising replacement birds for the layer houses to ensure high-quality poultry produce superior offspring.
Jason Crabtree maintains a club lamb operation that he began in 1988. An FFA project actually got him started with this endeavor. He has one buck, 25 ewes and 40 lambs annually and he sells about 96 percent of the lambs for show lambs in multiple states.
Published in The Messenger 4.3.12