Hawkinsville farmer named state farmer of the year

Hawkinsville farmer Barry Martin has been named the 2012 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Georgia Farmer of the Year, mostly because of his efforts in sustainable agriculture.

Martin has planted clover, which will put nitrogen in the soil, between rows of cotton on his farm, according to an article by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Next spring, Martin will cut the clover, mat it down and plant the next cash crop with a tractor and a strip-till planter he modified himself. The clover will add organic matter and mulch to the fields. Next fall, it will germinate and the cycle will begin again.

UGA recognized Martin as Farmer of the Year because of the innovation on his farm and his leadership in the farming community, the article stated.

Martin is the state’s nomination for the Southeastern Farmer of the Year, which will be awarded at the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie in October.

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.