Lowndes County Success Stories
Hall Family Farms (PDF) ( 213 KB)html
Farmers that make a living from the soil are also good stewards of the land says Greg Hall of Hall Family Farms in Lowndes County. Hall grows over 4,000 acres of cotton, peanuts, tobacco and soybeans as part of his farming operation. He also has a 350 cow/calf cattle operation as well as a construction business.
Hall knows that lost soil means reduced yields. This in turn relates in less profit per acre on the farm. In today’s farming environment, a farmer that does not save his soil does not stay in business for very long. Hall was already familiar with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Hall had started strip tilling in 2003 through EQIP.
Phil Hall, Soil Conservationist with NRCS, transferred to Valdosta in 2004 and started working with Hall Family Farms. Hall told Phil that, due to low commodity prices, he planned to diversify and increase his cattle herd. Hall had recently completed a new pasture as part of that plan. The new pasture was located on highly erodible soil that was also adjacent to a large creek. This creek flowed into a river just a few miles down stream.
Phil Hall suggested he sign up for EQIP and cross fence the 59-acre pasture into smaller paddocks, explaining that it would let him prescribe graze each paddock thus improving his grass quality and help reduce erosion by not letting the cattle eat the grass down to the bare soil. Hall signed up and was approved for cross fencing. He was able to cross fence the 59-acre pasture into approximately five, 12-acre paddocks.
Hall has made this his main pasture where he not only grazes his cattle but also grades and loads the cattle he sells. Hall also completed construction on an irrigation pond he was approved for through the Soil and Water Commission. Hall is so pleased with the work NRCS has assisted him with he recommended all his neighbors and a lot of his construction clients to NRCS for technical assistance as well as possibly signing up for programs such as EQIP.
To help others in Lowndes County protect their natural resources, Hall ran and was elected district supervisor for Lowndes County in November 2006.
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