Merits of conservation learned early

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Local News

February 6, 2019 - 11:39 AM

Beverly and Jack Franklin

Iolans Jack and Beverly Franklin will receive the Bankers’ Award for Soil Conservation during the annual Allen County conservation district meeting Saturday evening.

Soil conservation became a watchword for agriculture a century ago when farming practices, with little consideration for the future, led to extensive erosion. Wind and water took their toll. Repeatedly planting the same crops, with no rotation, depleted soil nutrients and left yields a fraction of what they are in today’s tech-savvy environment.

The drought and blistering temperatures of the 1930s led to storms so great that massive clouds of fine dirt blocked out the sun. Homes became thickly layered with dust and vast opaque clouds of the nasty stuff drifted as far as the East Coast.

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