Options for Farmers
Farmers can adopt a number of conservation practices that help protect water quality while improving soil health and meeting other production goals. By adopting these management strategies on the land they manage, farmers can help the hellbenders too.
By establishing seasonal cover on annual cropland, farmers can reduce soil erosion and reduce fertilizer input costs. Common cover crops include ryegrass, wheat, crimson clover, and radishes.
No-till farming involves planting a crop into the undisturbed soil containing the previous season's crop residue. This planting technique increases the amount of water and nutrients in the soil while decreasing erosion.
By leaving a section of permanently vegetated land adjacent to cropland, farmers can provide wildlife habitat and help protect soil and water quality.
Filter strips are essentially buffer strips placed between cropland and surface water such as a river or creek. This management strategy uses trees and grasses to control erosion and help naturally process farm inputs and other runoff.
Grassed waterways provide plant cover in the low spots of a field, decreasing soil erosion and permitting easy crossing of farm equipment.