Congratulations to Van Arkel Farms for being given a 2016 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence this week. All your years of hard work and dedication to soil health is being noticed by many!
Van Arkel Farms Limited – Dresden
Laurent Van Arkel is a sustainable soil health champion. Over the years, the second-generation farmer has gotten his hands dirty, developing and promoting innovative cover-crop techniques and specialized equipment. He has pioneered a reduced tillage system for sugar beets and developed a customized manure injector that decreases run-off and minimizes soil disturbance. His modified seed drill enables him to interseed his main crop with an established cover crop. He’s also actively experimented with cover crops like sunflowers, rye grass and other legumes to protect the soil and rapidly sequester nutrients. Keen to share what he’s learned, Van Arkel regularly hosts on-farm tours, consults with researchers and shares his success stories to audiences across North America. In doing so, he’s helping sustain Ontario’s cropland for future generations.