Belan Farms, a 1,200-acre cash crop operation in Dawn-Euphemia that’s operated by three generations of the Belan family, has won the 2018 Outstanding Farmer Award from the Lambton Soil and Crop Improvement Association.
The Belan family includes three “Mikes”—Sr., Jr., and III—as well as Tony Belan.
The business operates on a three-year rotation of wheat, corn and soybeans, a method that many Lambton area farmers and beyond use to help improve soil health.
They do so even though the market for their crops might be better without the rotation regimen. Having wheat in the rotation has proven to improve crop performance and the health of the soil.
The Belans also do soil testing by zones, a method that uses a sled for on-the-go sensing. Haggerty Creek, their input supplier, provides that service.
The farm operation is also working on building up phosphorous levels and improving the fertility of the soil. They also farm using a “cover crop” methodology which is said to hold nutrients in place and help avoid run-off.
The business switched to a no-till operation in 1991 and the family has become a promoter of the method, hosting farm tours and doing presentations.
Mike Belan III is also a professional firefighter and serves as a director on the Lambton Federation of Agriculture.