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IFAO names Innovator of the Year

IFAO names Innovator of the Year

The Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario presents the award annually

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

A cash crop producer from near Morrisburg, Ont. received an award for his dedication to soil health and progressive farming practices.

The Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario (IFAO) named Warren Schneckenburger the Innovator of the Year for 2019.

“It’s definitely a very nice honour,” he told Farms.com.

Along with his parents and wife, Schneckenurger operates Cedar Lodge Farms. The third-generation farmer and his family grow corn, soybeans, wheat and edible beans.

They strip till their corn but they “try to no till all the beans and wheat” they can, he said.

Schneckenburger is also interested in interseeding cover crops.

The idea stemmed from a 2011 trip to the National No-Till Conference in Cincinnatti, Ohio.

“My methods come from places where a lot of aerial seeding is done, but we don’t have that in Ontario,” he said. “We’ve had to take small steps every year. Right now, we interseed cereal rye into corn ahead of soybeans in the fall.”

Schneckenburger’s goal is to transition the entire farm to a no-till operation within the next decade. It’s an attainable target, but will require more concrete evidence to support the decision, he said.

“I’m a numbers guy and am typically slow to change,” he said. “But if I can do research on the farm and statistically prove it’s possible, then I’m more open to going that route.

“Drainage is on point and the fields are level. I could probably transition half of my acres today. I know some farmers have jumped in with both feet, but I can’t see myself being that aggressive.”

Schneckenburger will receive his award during the IFAO Conference in February in London, Ont.

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