Duane and Anthony Stateler

Farm: Stateler Family Farms

Watershed: Blanchard River

Conservation Practices:

  • Variable-Rate Manure Application
  • Cover Crops
  • Drainage Water Management
  • Animal Mortality Composting Facility
  • Edge-of-Field Monitoring
  • Wetland With Pollinator Habitat
  • Home Septic System Replacement
  • Phosphorus Removal Beds
  • 4R Nutrient Management

Water Quality Improvement Summary:

Duane Stateler and his son, Anthony, are the fifth and sixth generations to operate their 1,000-acre soybean, corn, wheat and hog farm. Raising livestock and managing manure requires increased attention to conservation, but it’s always been a priority for the Statelers. Their farm is part of the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network (BRDFN), an initiative designed to showcase and demonstrate innovative conservation practices for improved water quality.

Duane and Anthony were on the leading edge of cover crops when they began planting them in 2008. They started using oilseed radishes to help capture nutrients from the hog manure they spread and have since evolved to using three- and five-way mixes. “We try to keep a growing crop in at all times, and we’ve seen great benefit from it,” said Duane. “We’ve found cover crops do more than help with runoff. They also help with nitrates and keep soil from moving during major rain storms.”

In addition to cover crops, the Statelers use many other conservation strategies like variable-rate manure application and adherence to the 4Rs. “Many people expect there to be one thing they can do to solve a problem like runoff, but, depending on the scope, size and cropping system of your farm, there is a long list of practices that should be incorporated to be effective,” explained Duane.

The Statelers’ farm is currently the only BRDFN site to use drainage water management structures as a way to stop phosphorus from leaving their fields through the tile. These structures give them more control over the water table in their fields, which allows them to reduce nutrient leaching while also controlling moisture levels during critical times like planting and harvest. For further runoff control, they installed a phosphorus removal bed, which acts as a filter for water coming from the drainage tile. It uses steel slag, a phosphorus sorption material, to trap phosphorus before it gets into surface water.

Watch this video to learn more about conservation on the Stateler farm from Duane and Anthony.