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Clinton County family focuses on environmental friendly farming

The Orr family is keeping the environment in mind while operating their farm.

Posted: Feb 1, 2021 7:22 PM
Updated: Apr 26, 2021 2:21 PM

CLINTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — The Orr Family Farm strives to keep the environment clean while farming over 3,000 acres. 

Orr Family Farm Owners, Clint and Marianne Orr, started farming from scratch.

"At that time we had more cattle than what we do now," said owner Clint Orr. "But then we grew in grain farming and we cut back on the number of cattle."

Orr said at this time they still raise cattle for freezer beef, but it's a very small percentage of what they do. 

The Orr family farms over 3,000 acres. They raise corn and soybeans for various companies to us. 

"We grow non-GMO waxy seed for Tate & Lyle," said Orr. "It's a very specific corn and like everything else we grow, it's under contract."

Since the Orr family raises corn and soybeans for other companies, they follow specific guidelines.

"They pay us a premium to go through all the right steps," said Orr. "We make sure it's the right kind of corn, that it's isolated and that it's pure."

The Orr family also raises white food-grade corn for Cargill and seed beans for Pioneer.

Orr said there's a lot of overlap for buying now, the growing season, storage and sales.

"In our case, we may buy inputs in August of '20 for the '21 growing season," said Orr. "Because of who we sell to and what we grow, we may not completely sell that crop until August or September of 2022."

While the family farms for Tate & Lyle, Cargill and Pioneer, they're keeping the environment in mind. 

"We've done a lot of data collection, as well as yield trial comparisons over the years," said Orr. "We have weather stations that are scattered around." 

The weather stations allow the Orr's to collect real-time data and make decisions off their data.

"We farm very geographically spread out," said Orr. "So the weather stations have been a big benefit of what conditions are like."

According to the Orr Family Farm's website, 82% of the Orr farm and household electricity is generated by solar panels. 

"We have cover crops on virtually every acre," said Orr. "We soil test typically every other year and apply just what's needed."

Orr said this is not only from an environmental standpoint but also from an economic standpoint.

"Unless we do a ditching project, we're exclusively no-till and strip-till," said the Clinton County farmer. 

The Orr Family farm also has a lot of long term partnerships with livestock operations in order to get fertilizer for their fields. 

"We've come up with an environmentally sound way of getting that manure off those farms and on our fields."

With the spring 2021 planting season right around the corner, the Orr family has started to get their equipment ready. 

"What we're doing right now, aside from the desk work, is just starting to transition into machinery prep," said the Clinton County farmer. 

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