Conservationist of the Year
Clay Mixon was recognized as the 2012 Conservationist of the Year at the 39th annual Farm City Day Celebration on Friday, November 16. The Conservationist is selected by the Jackson District Natural Resource Conservation Service Staff.
Clay is a fifth generation farmer, who farms 1500 acres in Northwest Jackson County and 500 acres in the edge of Houston County, Alabama. Clay was selected for this award because he has adopted numerous practices to protect the natural resources on the land he manages. He utilizes high residue cover crops planted each year with a no-till drill, sprayed with a herbicide, and rolled with a crimper to improve organic matter, protect soil moisture, and prevent soil erosion prior to planting. Clay relies on conservation tillage planting of his corn, peanuts & cotton crops to minimize wind erosion and reduce fuel costs. He utilizes precision, GPS guided machinery to more accurately apply nutrients or pesticides and increase efficiency. Clay uses grid soil sampling and applies nutrients with variable rate application to only apply the nutrients needed for each field. He has installed multiple terrace systems with waterways and underground outlets to minimize soil erosion. Clay has protected his highly erodible land by planting long rotation pine trees. He closely monitors his irrigation to insure correct timing and rate optimize efficiency. Before bringing new land into production, Clay always checks with NRCS to ensure land is not considered highly erodible or has any wetlands.