Another Conservation Success Story...
Candler County, Georgia
R. E. Hendrix Conducts
Experiment on Vidalia
When District Conservationist Glyn
Thrift was looking for an innovative farmer to
try a conservation method known as conserva-
tion tillage on Vidalia onions, he wasn’t having
much luck. “I struck out two times before I
talked to R.E. (Hendrix of Hendrix Produce),”
said Thrift .
Then, he asked long-time farmer R. E.
Hendrix of Hendrix Produce in Candler
County. “He said I reckon I just wanna volun-
teer,” he laughed. Thrift is the District
Conservationist for the USDA-Natural
Resources Conservation Service.
The federal agency works with
landowners to take care of their natural
resources and provides cost-share assistance
for conservation practices that help the
environment. Hendrix, a long-time conser-
vationist, said he has worked with NRCS
One of those practices is conserva-
tion tillage. Conservation tillage is a con-
servation practice that leaves residue on
the soil to prevent erosion from wind and
water. Strip till and no-till are variations of
Georgia farmers are having a lot of
success with conservation tillage. It is
being used on cotton—Georgia’s fastest
growing crop––corn, and soybeans.
Hendrix said he was
skeptical at first about trying
no-till on Vidalia onions. “I
didn’t think it would work,”
said Hendrix speaking of con-
servation tillage. “I mean, I
had my doubts about it. I just
couldn’t see how it was going
Hendrix tried it anyway
for the erosion con-
trol benefits. “It
stops erosion. It’s
doing that right
now. That’s the rea-
son we tried it. We
put it on highly erodible land
because we get a lot of wind dam-
age.” Hendrix said.
“We fixed our land and set
our onions out and we overseeded it
with rye. You couldn’t even see the
onions. I had to spray it three times instead of
one time,” Hendrix said.
The mature crop won’t come out of the
ground until May. “Right now, it looks
healthy,” he s