Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Cover Crop Kickoff

Cover Crops Kickoff Program is June 5th at 6PM. Event will be held at Moore Memorial Woods in Old Washington. Please RSVP for this FREE Event by calling Jason Tyrell at the GSWCD office at 740-489-5276. Contracts for the MWCD Cover Crop program will be available at this event.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Pasture Walk outcome

Over 20 people showed up for a Pasture Walk last night. We covered several topics including Grass ID, Solar Power Usage, Paddock Layout, Water Systems and handed out grazing sticks for people to use. The food was provided by McKenna's Market in Cambridge. The next pasture walk is scheduled for in September.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Guernsey Muskingum Electric Meeting

Guernsey SWCD attended the Guernsey Muskingum Electric Annual Meeting on April 8th. There was a lot of great conversation about conservation, even if the snake guy in the room did steal the show!!

Brandt Soil Health Field Day

On April 5th, Guernsey SWCD attended Dave Brandt's Soil Health Field Day out in Carroll, OH. If you have never been to Dave Brandt's Farm before, put it on your bucket list. He is doing amazing things with cover crops, that are worth the drive to see.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Ohioans Invited to Enjoy a Weekend of Free Fishing

May 6-7 is Ohio's free fishing weekend
COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio is known for its world-class fishing, and on May 6-7, state residents are invited to take part in the annual free fishing weekend, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Ohio’s Free Fishing Days are open to all Ohio residents and extend to all of Ohio’s public waters, including Lake Erie and the Ohio River. This is the only weekend all year that does not require anyone 16-years-old or older to obtain a fishing license.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife’s six fish hatcheries stocked more than 54 million sport fish in public waters in 2016, including walleye, saugeye, steelhead, rainbow trout, brown trout, muskellunge, channel catfish, blue catfish and hybrid striped bass, which will provide opportunities for more than 1.3 million Ohio anglers.
Ohio State Parks is also offering a camping discount during Ohio’s Free Fishing Days. Campers can receive a 20 percent off discount May 6-7 by using the promotion code 17ANGLER.
The Free Fishing Days weekend offers Ohioans of all ages the chance to experience the fun of catching a fish. Here are some helpful tips for taking a youngster out fishing.
  • Keep the trip simple by considering a child’s age and skill level.
  • Choose a pond, lake or stream where children will be able to easily catch a few fish.
  • A spin-cast reel is usually the easiest for kids to use.
  • Bring a camera and snacks.
  • Be patient – plan on spending time untangling lines, baiting hooks, landing fish and taking pictures.
  • Most of all, keep the trip fun.
Anglers 16 years and older are required to have a valid fishing license to take fish, frogs or turtles from Ohio waters when not fishing on Ohio’s free fishing weekend. An Ohio resident fishing license is only $19 a year for residents. Fishing licenses are available at participating agents
The sales of fishing licenses, along with the Sport Fish Restoration (SFR) program, continue to fund the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s fish management operations. No state tax dollars are used for these activities. These are user-pay, user-benefit programs.
The SFR is a partnership between federal and state governments, industry and anglers/boaters. When anglers purchase rods, reels, fishing tackle, fish finder and motor boat fuel, they pay an excise tax. The federal government collects these taxes, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers and disburses these funds to state fish and wildlife agencies. These funds are used to acquire habitat, produce and stock fish; conduct research and surveys; provide aquatic education; and acquire and develop boat accesses.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at
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For more information, contact:
John Windau, ODNR Division of Wildlife
Matt Eiselstein, ODNR Office of Communications

Friday, March 31, 2017

Soil Class

On Tuesday, March 28th, Guernsey SWCD taught Meadowbrook 3rd graders about soil.



Monday April 3rd and Tuesday April 4th

Pickup Times will be 8:00am - 4:30pm on those days. 

You can pick up your trees at the Guernsey SWCD office located at the Guernsey County Fairgrounds. 
335C Old National Rd. Old Washington, OH 43768

If you have questions or need directions, please call (740)489-5276

Friday, March 17, 2017

New website avaliable!! "LEAP"

Check out the Ohio Livestock Enviromental Assurance Program (LEAP) website:
Alot of great information on State and Federal regulations, farm management practices for multiple issues and several evaluation tools. Great website!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

How to help control compaction

The Ohio state soil scientist says a traffic control plan can reduce yield loss from compaction. Steve Baker is with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
“The more you can get on a similar spacing, the better off you’ll be and kind of be thinking about your lines through the field. Some of the research I’ve seen shows up to 80 percent of your field can be tracked up if you’re not really thinking about what you’re up to” says Baker.
He tells Brownfield compaction can lower the amount of water and nutrients reaching the crops.
“The water and associated nutrients cannot get into the soil as easily and they may move to a different part of the field so that’s why you’ll see hot spots with more growth here and less over there” says Baker.
Baker says building up a field’s (To read more, or listen to the audio(3min 35sec long) click link below): 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Jason Tyrell's Farm and Dairy Article

How to extend your grazing season

One of the hardest things for a farmer to do is make changes to a system that is working fine. Many are comfortable letting their cattle in pasture early spring, possibly having to feed hay during summer slump, then keeping them grazing as long as they can on the available forage into the early winter where they will start feeding hay.
That is a system that is extremely common here in southeast Ohio. Although that may work OK for farmers, there are other options that may be more cost effective and less labor intensive, that could eliminate a lot of hay needs during the winter.
I am going to provide a few alternatives that could supersede that current cycle. Prior to making changes to your current system, there are a few questions that should be addressed.

Questions to answer

These include but are not limited to: What is your current rotation? Where do you get your hay supply from? Are there any restrictions that may not allow your current hay fields to become part of your rotational system, such as location or water availability?
Do you have electric available in the area or is solar power a possible option?
There are countless questions that can be asked to help you with your decision. Here are some options to help extend your grazing season:
1. Introduce better rotational grazing into your system. Decrease the amount of days that they are in each paddock by creating smaller paddocks with the use of poly wire. Allow the livestock to graze down to 4 inches in height, and then rotate them to another paddock. Make sure you have water available in each paddock. As the winter sets in, you will have more available forage to graze than before implementing rotational grazing.
2. Turn your hayfields into permanent pasture and incorporate those fields into your grazing system. Ultimately, this gives you the ability to speed up your rotation and allow more adequate growth and longer rest periods on each paddock. Make sure you have an adequate water setup before attempting. This will add more acreage to the first option.
3. Stockpile forage in select paddocks. This includes grazing throughout spring and into summer. Around late July/early August, pull the livestock out of these fields for the remainder of the grazing season.
Allow the forage to grow untouched for the rest of the year, until you need to release your livestock onto it in the winter. You can apply manure or nitrogen to give a big push of growth before the grasses go dormant.
Having livestock graze stockpiled forage takes the place of feeding hay until the stockpiled forage is depleted. This is much less expensive over time by reducing winter feeding costs and will limit your time throughout the year cutting hay.
With this system, it is still smart to have some hay available for emergencies such as iced over snow or extremely muddy conditions. You can buy hay to use in these situations.
The best forage for stockpiling is tall fescue, due to its ability to hold its forage quality value. If entophyte is a concern for you with fescue, it is good to understand that with freezing temperatures, entophyte levels decrease.
By the time January comes around, entophyte levels should be low enough to not be a cause for concern. With fescue, you must be careful if you do not want this to be the dominant grass on your farm, as it is aggressive and will out-compete other forages.
4. Get the first cutting of hay off the field and then resort to stockpiling starting late July/early August. This is a similar concept as No. 3; however, you do not allow the cattle to graze completely through till late July/early August.
Instead, you do one cut, maybe two, depending on the year. Either way, by late July you will not hay anymore or allow cattle to graze on this property until winter.
The hay that you receive from your first cutting can become emergency hay if needed. Thinking even further outside the box, another choice that you have with this selection is to pull your livestock off of all paddocks and stockpile them all.
During this time, you will feed your first cutting of hay, which better matches the nutritional needs of the livestock in the late summer/ fall, than it would in the late fall/winter.

Another option

This is rarely done in Southeast Ohio; however, it’s another option to consider. It is very difficult to find a way to graze completely year-round, but that should be the goal.
Stockpiled grasses have better nutrition than hay, which provides more nutrients to our livestock in the times when those needs are higher. Sometimes you have to go outside your comfort zone and try new things if you want your operation to remain sustainable.
If you are interested in extending your grazing season, contact your local soil and water conservation district or OSU Extension office and ask for more detailed information.
Click the web address below to see on Farm and Dairy's webpage.