Thursday, June 30, 2016
Monday, June 13, 2016
Mimicking nature: Cover crop guru Dave Brandt was an early adapter
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Guernsey County Soil & Water Conservation District is pleased to announce that Casey Brooks has been appointed District Program Administrator.
Brooks, a Guernsey County native, has a Bachelor of Science in Ecology from the University of Akron and a Master’s of Science in Sustainable Systems from Slippery Rock University. Before joining Guernsey Soil & Water, Brooks was an Organic Certification Specialist for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) and previously worked for Zane State College, the Wilds, YMCA Storer Camps in Michigan, Lorain County Metroparks, Aullwood Audubon Center & Farm and The Nature Conservancy in Michigan, Delaware, Minnesota, Maine, Massachusetts and Missouri.
Brooks said he is looking forward to expanding the availability and awareness of the services that Guernsey Soil & Water provides and developing relationships with community members to further the sustainable management of the county’s abundant natural resources.
USDA StrikeForce Conservation Funding Available Morgan and Guernsey Landowners Apply by June 24, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 8, 2016 –As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s StrikeForce, expanded to include several Ohio counties this year, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now offering financial and technical assistance to eligible landowners in Morgan and Guernsey Counties through the new Conservation Enhancement and Outreach Project.
In StrikeForce counties, over 20 percent of the population live below the poverty level. Designed to increase access to USDA programs and services to people living in areas of persistent poverty, USDA staff in StrikeForce counties collaborate with State, local, and community officials to leverage community and economic development opportunities.
The conservation practices available through the Conservation Enhancement and Outreach Projectprotect natural resources whileenhancing pasture, crop, and forest land. Nutrient management practices, such as animal waste storage facilities and cover crops, protect water quality and improve soil health. Brush and herbaceous weed control practices improve forest and grass lands by stemming the spread of invasive and noxious plants that often crowd out native plants or harm livestock. High tunnel systems extend the growing season and provide a source of locally grown produce in areas far from grocery stores. Several other conservation practices are also available for site-specific natural resource management needs.
The benefits of conservation applied on an individual’s land extend into the local economy. Typically, landowners installing conservation practices use local sources of raw materials and labor.Improved land is more productive land which generates more income that may be used for higher education, local purchases, and local investments.
Individuals interested in applying for the Conservation Enhancement and Outreach Projectshould make an appointment with the local NRCS conservationist as soon as possible. To receive financial assistance,an application for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds is required. Landowners in Guernsey County should call 740-432-5621, ext. 3.
Applications for EQIP submitted by entities, such as farmers applying as a corporation, must register with the Central Contractor Registration (CCR), a process that can take up to 3 weeks. Information about CCR requirements, including obtaining a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number, is posted on the NRCS website at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/farmbill.w.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.
The Guernsey SWCD is holding its first ever Ginseng Seed Sale. American Ginseng is a plant native to Guernsey County as well as Appalachian Ohio. Ginseng is a plant most coveted for its roots that are often credited for their tonic and medicinal properties. Purposes for growing Ginseng would be to increase forest diversity and potentially create a cash crop for the future by selling the roots down the road when they’re legally mature and Ginseng season is in. The Guernsey SWCD is taking pre-paid orders for stratified Ginseng seed by the ounce. The seed costs $10 per ounce of stratified seed and there are approximately 437 seeds in one ounce of seed. All proceeds from the sale go towards the district’s education events. For more information about planting and growing Ginseng you can reach us at 740-489-5276, or stop by our office located at the Guernsey County fairgrounds in Old Washington.
Logging is and has been going on in Guernsey and surrounding counties for many years, for the most part with no issues. Occasionally something happens that is brought to our attention and is then dealt with. To help insure that these issues are kept from happening and how to deal with them accordingly, the Guernsey Soil and Water Conservation District, The Ohio Division of Forestry, and Superior Hardwoods of Ohio held a workshop for local loggers to attend and learn about BMP’s (Best Management Practices). The goal of this class was to help educate loggers about Ohio’s BMP laws that are required on logging jobs so that local soil and water quality are not degraded due to timber harvest activities. Jeremy Scherf, State Service Forester, talked about BMP’s and why they’re important to the land they help conserve and the ground they’re implemented on, as well as different tips and tactics and how they apply under multiple circumstances. Bob Mulligan, Forest Hydrology Manager from The Ohio Division of Forestry, also spoke about the importance of BMP’s and soil and water conservation during silviculture practices and how there are laws in effect to ensure that our natural resources are not infringed upon. Bob also talked about where these laws spurred from and the direction legislation is looking at turning on the subject. Tony Machamer, Forester with Superior Hardwoods of Ohio, showed loggers why BMP’s are important to them from a saw mills perspective, because taking care of the ground that timber is harvested from is a near and dear issue to them as a business. To wrap things up Levi Arnold, Wildlife/ Forestry Specialist with the Guernsey SWCD talked about filing a voluntary form with the district called a Timber Harvest Management Plan which can give loggers some legal stability if one of their logging jobs were to come into question about best management practices installed on a property and some of the benefits this form gives to all involved in a timber harvest, everyone from the landowner, and forester, to the logger, and SWCD representative. For any questions please call the Guernsey SWCD at 740-489-5276.
Bob Mulligan, Forest Hydrologist with The Ohio Division of Forestry, answers questions about Ohio’s BMP laws.
Jeremy Scherf, State Service Forester with The Ohio Division of Forestry, gives a presentation to loggers about why BMP’s are important and how they help the land.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
On May 19th the Buckeye Trail 6th grade class came out to Guernsey SWCD’s Moore Memorial Woods for a fun day of learning about what natural resources can be found in forests around Guernsey County. We'd like to say a huge thank you to all the teachers who helped bring the kids out and a special thank you to Dave Schott from Noble SWCD, and Anna Hodges for helping teach the kids. the kids went around to five different stations where they learned how to identify and measure trees, learned how to identify different mammal furs and skulls, how to use a compass to navigate, multiple species of plants and different uses of them on a nature hike, and finally they made a custom t-shirt with paint and used leaves and items they found in the forest to decorate them with.
Jason Tyrell, teaching one of the groups orienteering
Levi Arnold, showing one of the groups furs from different mammals and special adaptations each species has.
Casey Brooks showing the kids a cool plant during the nature hike.
Monday, June 6, 2016
Two side-by-side rows with very different populations
By Tom Bechman
Crop Watch: Economics favor leaving both stands at this stage in the season.
Published on: Jun 6, 2016
Frustrating early spring gives way to rapid late planting progress
By Matt Reese
It has been a very frustrating planting season for Adam Kirian and his brother on their Hancock County farm.
The cool, moist conditions from March through mid-May were great for the wheat, but not for much of anything else on the corn, soybean, hay, fresh produce, and cattle operation.
“I made a joke a couple of days ago and said that I wished we had planted everything to wheat because it looks excellent. We had a cool damp spring and it was favorable for the wheat. There is a lot of fungicide going on right now as we get closer to filling grain. I would say we are 40 or 45 days at least away from wheat harvest. It is starting to warm up right now,” said Adam Kirian on May 26. “We didn’t get any corn in the ground until May 20. We started working ground the day before on the well-drained stuff. As we have gotten some heat, things have really gotten nice. We finished up our own corn planting last night and we are doing some custom work now. Hopefully we should have some beans going in the ground this afternoon. By the middle of next week, with the looks of the forecast, we should have everything in the ground. There were times in April where the ground was dry and we planted some sweet corn. We had issues getting it to emerge, though, because of the cool temperatures. We had problems with too much moisture but the ground temperature was as big of a problem this spring.”
While the cool and wet conditions kept planters out of the field, the wheat continued to thrive after a mild winter and good growing conditions the previous fall.
“The wheat really looks good. As far as ground moisture, we have a fair amount to help fill the heads out with grain. The big thing is that we have gotten so warm and so humid so quickly after being so cool all spring that disease is going to be a bigger issue. You are seeing a lot of preventative maintenance spraying around...(To read more, click the link below):