Number Fifty Profiles of Soil Health Heroes is Making a Difference in Soil Health in Obion County, Tennessee
by Mike Hubbs, TACD Soil Health Specialist
In 2013, Tennessee NRCS and the Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts (TACD) focused on soil health. In 2014, I was fortunate to be hired by TACD to disseminate soil health information to farmers, partners and NRCS. One way that I decided to achieve my objective was to identify farmers with significant achievements in soil health. Approximately four years ago, I began a series of articles to identify Tennessee farmers for their soil health achievements, Profiles of Soil Health Heroes. During my writing of the first article, I was not sure where these were going. Since then we have completed 49 articles. This article sets a milestone as the 50th Profiles of Soil Health Heroes.
I want to introduce Number 50 of Profiles of Soil Health Heroes. John Britt farms in Obion County, Tennessee. I met with John Britt along with Josh Richardson, District Conservationist, Union City, Tennessee on December 5, 2018. Most of the farms that John farms are on State Line road between Tennessee and Kentucky. He shared with me that he has farmed his entire life. John is a fourth-generation farmer. John's father passed away in 2002, and he became the main operator. His grandfather no-tilled in the 1970s. So, John not only grew up in a farming-family; he grew up being conservation-minded.
John is a one-man show on his operation1,400 acres. He produces corn, wheat, and soybeans. Wheat acreage is market driven. He grows a variety of group type soybeans to manage time. He grows 3.6s to 3.9s and then later plants 4.6s to 4.9s. This diversity of group type soybeans helps him spreads the time out for harvest of soybeans and corn. Also, John often focuses on earlier maturing soybeans to assure seeding of winter cover crops by October 15.